Mexican Veterinarian Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Meth and Unlawful Possession of Firearm
BOISE – Juan Montejano Barraza, 41, an illegal alien residing in Wendell, Idaho, was sentenced today to 128 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson.
At sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill stated that methamphetamine is the number one problem that Idaho's communities face; that it destroys individuals, families, and tears at the very fabric of our society; and that justice demands that those willing to profit from selling this poison face significant prison sentences.
In addition to prison time, Judge Winmill ordered Barraza to forfeit drug proceeds of $100,000.
According to evidence presented at sentencing, Barraza conspired with others to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine beginning on June 1, 2010 and continuing to September 30, 2010. Barraza sold a confidential informant four ounces of methamphetamine, four ounces of marijuana, and a firearm during the course of the conspiracy. Barraza is prohibited from possessing a firearm because he is illegally in the United States. He pled guilty to the charges on September 12, 2011.
Barraza was convicted of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine in Gooding County, Idaho, on March 8, 2011, and is currently serving a sixyear state prison sentence. The federal prison term will run concurrent to his state sentence. He will be deported after serving his prison sentence.
Barraza, who earned a master's degree in veterinary medicine in Mexico, was employed at two dairies in the Magic Valley.
Co-defendant Ceila Ivonnie Loya, 32, a Mexican national, also of Wendell, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2012. She pled guilty in October to unlawfully possessing a firearm. The remaining co-defendant, Jose Dolores Leon-Aispuro, is a fugitive.
The case was investigated by the Idaho State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.