Marijuana grower to pay $6.5 million for sparking wildfire

May 26, 2015 6:02 PM by Associated Press

A convicted marijuana grower was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison and ordered to pay a $6.5 million fine for igniting a wildfire that burned a remote part of Sequoia National Forest in Central California.

Forth-six-year-old Edgardo Fournier-Nigaglioni, of Perris, California received the punishment Tuesday for his involvement in a large scale marijuana cultivation operation on federal land in Kern County and for his role in starting the Nicolls Fire, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.

The fire, which erupted July 11, burned more than 2 square miles in the mountains northeast of Bakersfield. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

According to court documents, from about April 1, 2014 to July 12, 2014, Fournier helped water and tend 2,090 marijuana plants at a grow site in the Smith Canyon area of the Sequoia National Forest.

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