Last Person Arrested in Meth Trafficking Case
POCATELLO – All 11 people indicted in a federal drug trafficking case on Tuesday are in custody this morning after Ricardo Garcia Lopez, 34, was arrested last night in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Arrested with Garcia was Jenny Flores-Leal, 36, on state charges of harboring a fugitive.
The federal defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Arraignments are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. today in United States District Court in Pocatello.
Garcia is charged with co-defendants 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.
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.