11 People Indicted for Drug Trafficking
POCATELLO – A federal grand jury in Pocatello on Tuesday returned an indictment charging 11 people with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. Four defendants were arrested earlier today; six others currently in state custody will be transferred into federal custody tomorrow.
The defendants named in the indictment are Samuel Nevarez-Ayon, 25, and Fabiola Esmerelda Marin-Castro, 24, of Rexburg, Idaho; Guadalupe Meraz, 40, of Medara, California; Ana Rosa Valdez-Ceja, 25, Juan Ortiz, Jr., 27, and Antonio Javier Mendoza, 27, of Shelly, Idaho; Isidoro David Herrera, 30, Daniel Quiroz, 24, Everado Tapia Torres, Jr., 29, Ricardo Garcia Lopez, 34, and Nicolas Levi Olsen, 28, of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Nevarez-Ayon, Torres, Olsen, Valdez-Ceja, Mendoza, Quiroz, Herrera, Ortiz, Marin-Castro, and Meraz are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush. An arrest warrant has been issued for Lopez, who is considered a fugitive.
Federal drug trafficking charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $8 million, and a minimum term of five years of supervised release.
The charges are the result of a nine-month investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), including the Idaho State Police, Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, Idaho Falls Police Department, Madison County Sheriff's Office, Rexburg Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Fremont County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
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.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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.