Two Mexican Nationals Convicted on Meth Trafficking Charges
BOISE – A federal jury on Friday convicted Jesus Octavio Arreola-Beltran, 23, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Co-defendant Lucio Landeros-Valdez, 23, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Both men are Mexican nationals.
During the six-day trial, the jury heard evidence that Arreola-Beltran conspired to distribute five to 50 grams of pure methamphetamine and possessed with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine. The jury found that Landeros-Valdez possessed with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine. According to trial testimony, the offense occurred in Fruitland, Idaho, and Ontario, Oregon, after the defendants drove from Phoenix, Arizona, with almost a pound of 94% pure methamphetamine. The jury heard testimony that on the morning of March 10, 2011, the defendants sold approximately one ounce of the methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement officer. According to trial testimony, the defendants were arrested in Ontario that afternoon. Law enforcement officers found methamphetamine concealed in a box of Tide detergent that had been opened, resealed and placed in the trunk of the car they were driving. Arreola-Beltran had 11 one-hundred dollar bills in his pocket with serial numbers matching the previously recorded serial numbers on the bills used by the undercover officer to purchase the methamphetamine.
A conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine each carry a mandatory minimum term of 10 years to life in prison, a $4 million fine, and a minimum five years of supervised release. Landeros faces at least 20 years in prison based on his prior drug trafficking conviction.
Arreola-Beltran and Landeros-Valdez are scheduled to be sentenced on February 2, 2012, before Judge Winmill in Boise.
A third defendant, Jose Gabriel Virgen, 34, of Yakima, Washington, also a Mexican national, pled guilty on September 12 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing is set for November 30 before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
The case was investigated by the Idaho State Police, the Ontario State Police, and the High Desert Drug Task Force in Ontario, Oregon.
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