California Man Pleads Guilty to Methamphetamine Trafficking
BOISE – Juan Carlos Morales-Cardenas, 37, of San Bernardino, California, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, the defendant joined a group of individuals involved in distributing methamphetamine in Idaho and elsewhere. He supplied methamphetamine to persons who subsequently brought the methamphetamine to Idaho. The defendant also traveled to Idaho to meet with his co-conspirators, during which time he sold methamphetamine to them.
The charge is punishable by a minimum term of 10 years up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $10 million, and at least five years supervised release.
Sentencing is set for April 16, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
To date, eight co-conspirators have been sentenced to federal prison on related drug trafficking charges:
- Juan Salto-Vivanco, Caldwell, Idaho, 108 months
- Juan Ramirez-Bolanos, Caldwell, 115 months
- Eugenio Arrela-Villa, Caldwell, Idaho, 70 months
- Noel Salto-Vivanco, Caldwell, 87 months
- Fernando Luna-Rodriguez, El Sinore, California, 30 months
- Ricardo Payan-Beltran, Mexican national, 30 months
- Jose Cirilo-Duran, Weiser, Idaho, 27 months
- Francisca Salto-Flores, Caldwell, 13 months
The investigation was the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with the Nampa Police Department.
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.
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.