Coarsegold man sentenced in marijuana, firearm bust

A Coarsegold man was sentenced this week to eight years in prison for cultivating marijuana and being a felon in possession of firearms, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Evidence in court showed Lawrence Alexander Tidwell, 32, grew 1,247 marijuana plants inside a trailer on Eagle Drive in Raymond.

When a search warrant was served on the trailer, officers discovered the plants as well as two rifles, one of them an AK-47 style semi-automatic, a shotgun in a gun safe, along with high-capacity magazines and more than 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

On top of the safe was a loaded Sig Sauer pistol, and a second magazine. Serial numbers had been removed from two of the weapons, and one had been reported stolen.

Tidwell was arrested on June 17, 2014, and plead guilty to the charges on July 6 this year. In addition to his eight-year sentence, delivered Monday by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii, Tidwell will serve four years of supervised release once that prison term is completed.

Tidwell had been previously convicted of felonies that prevented him from possessing a firearm, adding to his sentence.

Staff report