Two Mexican nationals were charged in federal court recently for their roles in a Daviess County, Mo., marijuana-growing operation where law enforcement officers seized nearly $10 million worth of plants.

Sergio Medina-Perez, also known as “Chapo,” 44, and Miguel Pulido-Maldonado, also known as “Mona,” 27, were charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. Both men are citizens of Mexico who were living in California prior to coming to Missouri.

Today’s federal criminal complaint charges Medina-Perez and Pulido-Maldonado with manufacturing and distributing 1,000 or more marijuana plants.

The owners of the three real estate tracts that comprise the property in Daviess County live in California. Law enforcement officers, who had been keeping the marijuana grow site under surveillance, executed a search warrant at the property on Aug. 27, 2018. The plants were in a clearing inside a large area of timber. A distinct path led from a building in the wooded area to the area containing the marijuana plants. One person who was present at the marijuana grow site fled into the wooded area and escaped.

Officers located approximately 2,464 cultivated marijuana plants. With an approximate street value of $1,800 per pound of marijuana, this results in approximately $9,757,440 in marijuana plants seized.

Medina-Perez was arrested near the grow site on Aug. 29, 2018. Pulido-Maldonado was arrested on Aug. 30, 2018; he was covered in mud, his arms had numerous bites from either mosquitos or other insects and it appeared he had been outside for several days. Medina-Perez and Pulido-Maldonado have been held on immigration detainers since their arrests.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad K. Kavanaugh. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Northwest Missouri Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Daviess County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Grundy County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Livingston County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.