GREENLEAF GANG MEMBER SENTENCED FOR TRANSFER OF AN UNREGISTERED FIREARM
Zaul Zuniga, 39, of Greenleaf, was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for transferring an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Zuniga to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. Zuniga pled guilty to the charge on October 4, 2010.
At his plea hearing, Zuniga, a Northside gang member, admitted selling two sawed-off shotguns to a confidential informant in Nampa in September 2009. Zuniga admitted knowing that the firearms were not registered as sawed-off shotguns when he sold them to another person. Zuniga also has a prior felony conviction, which prohibits him from possessing firearms.
“The U.S. Attorney's Office, the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho are committed together to aggressively prosecute gang violence,” said Olson. “This ten year federal prison sentence for Zaul Zuniga makes our communities safer and sends a strong message that participation in gang-related crime comes at a steep price.”
Zuniga was the last of six defendants to be sentenced in federal court as part of an investigation into firearms trafficking by members of the Nampa Northside gang. The following defendants were sentenced earlier: Emiliano “Tito” Cortez, 26, of Nampa, 24 months; Yesenia Ortiz, 32, of Nampa, 15 months; Juan Carlos Ortiz, 19, of Nampa, one month; Jesus Manuel Zuniga, 26, of Boise, 18 months; and Monique Zuniga, 24, of Nampa, 27 months.
The Nampa Northside case was investigated by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force. The prosecution was part of Idaho’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which seeks to reduce gun violence in Idaho.
The Nampa Northside case was prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho, and housed in the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office, to address gang crimes. The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southeast Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth. For more information, visit treasurevalleypartners.org.
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.