Three Sparks men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of spraypainting graffiti on rocks, trees and trail markers in the Mount Rose Wilderness Area.
Alfredo Perez, 19, Efrain Becerra, 22, and Gabriel Amaya, 18, were indicted this past week by a federal grand jury on charges of willfully injuring or defacing property of the United States. According to the indictment, on June 10, 2008, the defendants spraypainted symbols and slogans along the Jones-Whites Creek trail and at Church's Pond with labels including "The Perfect Criminals" and TPC."
The U.S. Attorney's Office said they were reported by others hiking in the area and taken into custody by U.S. Forest Service officers along with Washoe sheriff's and parks department officials as well as the regional gang unit of the Reno police.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said they had spray paint and permanent markers in their possession when caught descending the trail.
"Wilderness areas are special and rare areas designated by Congress for all of us to enjoy, and afforded a level of protection to preserve their unique values," said Ed Monnig, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor.
If convicted, they face up to a $250,000 fine in addition to the prison sentence.