Three sentenced for pot-growing operation

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MADISON (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced three Mexican nationals to prison for conspiring to grow marijuana in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest in northwestern Wisconsin.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb sentenced 21-year-old Cesar Tinoco to 10 years on Tuesday. She handed down the same sentence to 29-year-old Abraham Ramirez on Wednesday and 25-year-old Jorge Lopez-Ontiveros on Thursday. The men pleaded guilty in November.

Three more men — two from Mexico and one from Minnesota — are scheduled to be sentenced in federal court within the next two weeks.

They all were captured after dozens of police officers raided the farm just south of Clam Lake in August. Authorities seized nearly 9,500 plants.