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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 3, 2014

Final Defendant In Meth Trafficking Case Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison

Five Co-Conspirators Serving Sentences Ranging from 21 Months to 35 Years

POCATELLO – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today Juan Carlos Garcia, 36, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Garcia to serve 10 years of supervised release and pay a $3,000 fine. He pleaded guilty to the charge on August 12, 2013.

Five co-conspirators were sentenced late last year to serve lengthy prison sentences. Fausto Urias, of Idaho Falls, the leader/organizer of the criminal organization, was sentenced in October 2013 to 35 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. Benito Joya, of Rigby, Idaho, was sentenced in October to 121 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. Marco Antonio Echeverria, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced in December 2013 to serve 97 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine. Erica Rodriguez, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced in December to 92 months in prison for possession to with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. Misti Chapman, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced in October to 21 months in prison for distribution of methamphetamine and violating a previously imposed term of supervised release.

According to plea agreements filed in the case, between November 2009 and October 23, 2012, Urias and Garcia conspired to possess and distribute methamphetamine to other individuals in the Idaho Falls area. Urias and Garcia were previously convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance in Bonneville County, Idaho, on November 9, 2004, and June 7, 2005, respectively.

“This drug trafficking organization brought significant amounts of this highly addictive drug into our communities,” said Olson. “Through the cooperative efforts of local, state and federal authorities, we have successfully dismantled this operation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners will use all lawful means to bring to justice and seek punishment for those who traffic methamphetamine in Idaho.”

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), including the Idaho State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, Idaho Falls Police Department, Madison County Sheriff's Office, Rexburg Police Department, Bingham County Sheriff’s Office, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Other federal agencies participating in the OCDETF program include the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service.

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.