GREEN BAY — Five Green Bay residents have been charged after a large-scale marijuana grow operation was discovered in Marinette County.
The individuals charged are identified as 19-year-old Brian Magana, 51-year-old Javier Magana, 45-year-old Manuel Mendoza, 38-year-old Marco Magana and Maria Hilda Magana-Mendoza.
If convicted, each faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, and up to $10 million in fines.
According to a criminal complaint, the grow operation was first reported to law enforcement by a fisherman, who was fishing near County Highway X in the Town of Middle Inlet when he was approached by two Hispanic males who told him “fishing is closed.”
The fisherman reported seeing trees cut down over the waterway and power cords over the waterway.
The criminal complaint says a logger then came to them, saying they went to the area to check the lumber for logging purposes and discovered the grow operation. The logger reported a 50-by-50 foot clearing and 30 to 40 marijuana plants growing in the clearing.
Using surveillance cameras and through vehicle-tracking operations, law enforcement was able to discover the marijuana grow operation and link the suspects to the grow site.
Officers arrested Manuel Mendoza and Maria Mendoza on Highway 41 after they left the grow site. They then arrested Javier Magana-Membrilla on South Hill Road.
During execution of a search warrant, officers arrested Marco Magana at a home on South Hill Road, where the criminal complaint says a loaded shotgun was found in the bedroom.
Javier’s wife, Maria Hilda Magana Mendoza and their son, Brian Javier Magana were arrested at a residence on Doty Street in Green Bay during search-warrant execution. A criminal complaint says Brian Magana is one of the owners of the grow site.
Brian Magana told officials he purchased the grow site with his uncle, Manuel Mendoza, and said the property was intended to grow marijuana for sale. Brian Magana also told officials the family operated an additional grow site near South Hill.
A criminal complaint in the case says between the two sites, officers have observed over 1,000 plants.