BOISE, IDAHO – James Roy O'Neill, 49, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday to fifteen years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. O'Neill was also sentenced to fifteen years for conspiracy to launder money. The sentences will run concurrent to each other. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge ordered O'Neill to serve five years of supervised release following his prison term, pay $5,000 in fines, and forfeit over $100,000 in cash and property to the United States.
O'Neill pleaded guilty to the charges in October, 2010. At his plea hearing, O'Neill admitted that between 2000 and 2010, he and five others, including his wife, Lecia O'Neill, conspired together to distribute cocaine and marijuana in northern Idaho. O'Neill admitted to storing drugs at a “stash house” in Coeur d'Alene until they could be distributed. At this “stash house” he grew marijuana, which he later replanted on public lands. During the course of the investigation, O'Neill sold cocaine to law enforcement on six occasions. A financial investigation revealed that O'Neill did not have sufficient legitimate income to support his expenditures, including his house, vehicles, travel, and other assets. Investigators determined that a significant portion of his income was derived from cocaine and marijuana sales. During a six year period, O'Neill and his wife deposited approximately $200,000 into their bank and investment accounts while claiming income of just over $3,000.
Co-defendants Lecia Donita O'Neill, Christopher Barry McFarland, Steven Joseph McCabe, Debra Lynne Margraff, and Gary Arden Votava have entered pleas related to these charges and are awaiting sentencing.The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Idaho State Police, and the Tri-Cities (Washington) Metro Drug Taskforce. The investigation was the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.