Federal prosecutors say a large marijuana growing operation damaged land in a national forest in Northern California.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced on Thursday that a grand jury had indicted Alejandro Soto-Silva on three counts in connection with the pot plants.
The charges included marijuana cultivation and depredation of public lands and resources.
Authorities arrested the 21-year-old Mexican national on July 30 after finding more than 3,700 marijuana plants in the Plumas National Forest, which is northwest of Lake Tahoe. They say Soto-Silva was arrested after attempting to flee.
Prosecutors say irrigation pipes ran from a water source to man-made reservoirs used to water the plants.
Soto-Silva remains in custody. An attorney representing him did not immediately respond to a request for comment.