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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 13, 2014

Third Defendant Sentenced In OCDETF Case

POCATELLO – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that Julian Vega-Valdez, 25, a Mexican national, was sentenced today in federal court in Pocatello to 70 months in prison for distributing five grams or more of actual methamphetamine. He appeared today before Judge N. Randy Smith of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting by special designation as a district court judge.

Vega-Valdez pleaded guilty on August 14, 2013. According to the plea agreement, he admitted that on January 10, 2011, he met with co-defendant Josue Rodriguez-Sanchez in Idaho Falls and provided him with more than five grams of methamphetamine for distribution to other individuals.

Mexican nationals Josue Rodriguez-Sanchez, of Idaho Falls, and Fernando Garcia, of Logan, Utah, were sentenced in December 2013. Rodriguez-Sanchez was sentenced to 120 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. Garcia was sentenced to 10 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute a small amount of cocaine.

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.