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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Three people are facing charges for operating an illegal marijuana plot in Douglas County.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 28-year-old Rafael Salas-Silva of Sparks, 23-year-old Alberto Mendez-Arroyo of Reno and 26-year-old Martin Urioste-Maciel of Pasco, Wash., are charged in a criminal complaint with manufacturing thousands of pot plants in the James Canyon area.

Federal and local authorities searched the area Wednesday, and saw Urioste-Maciel running from the scene. He was found hiding in a creek bed next to Mendez-Arroyo.

Authorities say Salas-Silva was stopped near the site in a vehicle containing supplies, including fertilizer, a propane tank and sleeping bag.

Officials say about 4,700 marijuana plants were discovered.

If convicted the defendants could face 10 years to life in prison and $10 million in fines.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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