Northside Gang Associate Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun and Drug Charges
BOISE – Francisco Javier Ramirez-Arreola, 37, a Mexican national formerly residing in Nampa, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to unlawfully possessing a firearm, distributing methamphetamine, and possessing a sawed-off shotgun, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson.
According to the plea agreement, between October 2010 and February 2011, at meetings monitored by law enforcement, Ramirez-Arreola met with an individual at his Nampa residence and other locations and illegally sold three firearms, including two sawed-off shotguns and a semi-automatic pistol. During this same time period, Ramirez sold approximately a half of an ounce of methamphetamine for $600. As part of the plea agreement, Ramirez-Arreola admitted that he unlawfully possessed an additional two sawed-off shotguns, two semi-automatic pistols, and a stolen revolver. Ramirez-Arreola, an alien illegally in the United States, is prohibited from possessing firearms. Ramirez agreed to forfeit the firearms involved in his criminal conduct.
The charge of unlawful possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, a term of supervised release of three years. The charge of distributing methamphetamine carries a minimum term of five years, up to 40 years in prison, a term of supervised release of at least four years, and a maximum fine of $5 million. The charge of possessing a sawed-off shotgun is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a term of supervised release of three years, and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Ramirez-Arreola is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Ramirez-Arreola, indicted in October 2011, is an associate of a “Norteño,” or Northside, street gang active in the Treasure Valley. Ten other Northside gang members and known associates were indicted in November 2011. The indictments, charging a total of 27 counts of drug trafficking, six counts of unlawfully possessing firearms, four counts of possessing sawedoff shotguns, two counts of transferring sawed-off shotguns, and one count of possessing stolen firearms were primarily the result of a 14-month investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force. The Boise Police Department's gang unit conducted the investigation of one of the cases.
The eleven gang members and associates are being prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership, the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and the State of Idaho 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 www.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.