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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thirteenth Person Sentenced In Major Eastern Idaho Meth Case

POCATELLO – Isidoro David Herrera, 32, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was sentenced in United States District Court today to 100 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Brian Ted Stewart of the District of Utah also sentenced Herrera to five years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to the charge on January 24, 2013. Herrera is the thirteenth defendant sentenced in the case. The remaining defendant, Guadalupe Meraz, 42, of Madera, California, is a fugitive.

According to plea agreements filed in the case, from June 2005 through January 2012, a group of individuals centered around co-defendant Samuel Nevarez-Ayon entered into a conspiracy to possess and distribute in excess of 50 grams of actual methamphetamine in the Idaho Falls area. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Nevarez-Ayon admitted that he distributed methamphetamine to other individuals on at least three occasions during this same time period. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Nevarez-Ayon directed activities of various co-defendants, including Herrera. In addition to distributing methamphetamine, several defendants laundered proceeds from the sale of the methamphetamine, and made false loan application to local banks to further the laundering of money. During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants obtained in excess of $500,000 from the distribution of methamphetamine.

Defendants sentenced to date include:

  • Samuel Nevarez-Ayon, 27, of Rexburg, Idaho, to 292 months in prison for continuing criminal enterprise, $500,000 forfeiture, and $4,000 fine;
  • Ricardo Garcia Lopez, 36, of Idaho Falls, to 235 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, five years of supervised release, and $1,000 fine;
  • Alberto Abarca, 23, of Idaho Falls, to 130 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and five years of supervised release;
  • Juan Ortiz, Jr., 29, of Shelley, Idaho, to 120 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, five years of supervised release and $1,000 fine;
  • Antonio Javier Mendoza, 29, of Shelley, to 96 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, five years of supervised release, and $1,000 fine;
  • Daniel Quiroz, 26, a Mexican national, to 78 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, five years of supervised release, $500 fine;
  • Nicolas Levi Olsen, 30, of Idaho Falls, to 60 months in prison for aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, five years of supervised release, and $500 fine;
  • Everado Tapia Torres, Jr., 31, of Idaho Falls, to 54 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine, and four years of supervised release;
  • Rafael Ignacio Guerrero, 38, a Mexican national, to 42 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, deportation;
  • Fabiola Esmerelda Marin-Castro, 27, a Mexican national, to 36 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, $300 fine, and forfeit $83,575 and two vehicles;
  • Ana Rosa Valdez-Ceja, 27, of Shelley, to two years of probation for money laundering; and
  • Abel Garcia, 25, of Idaho Falls, to one month in prison for false statement to a bank.

The charges were the result of a nine-month investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), including the Idaho State Police, 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), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 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.