Mexican National Convicted in Federal Court of Conspiracy to Distribute Meth
BOISE – Jose Romos-Gonzalez, also known as “Taliban,” 25, a Mexican national illegally in the United States, was convicted today by a federal jury of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distributing methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Romos-Gonzalez was living in Caldwell, Idaho, at the time of his arrest. He and four others were charged in an eight-count indictment filed in United States District Court in Boise on June 15, 2011.
During the four-day trial, the jury heard evidence that between January 1 and May 18, 2011, Romos-Gonzalez and co-defendant Angel Valdez-Soto entered into a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Ada and Canyon counties in Idaho. According to court testimony, the two men obtained the methamphetamine from a source in Southern California and sold it in Idaho. Romos-Gonzalez and Valdez-Soto traveled to California on several occasions to obtain pound-quantities of methamphetamine. During the investigation, officers were able to purchase approximately one pound of methamphetamine from Valdez-Soto and Romos-Gonzalez. According to trial testimony, Gonzalez and Soto were aided in the conspiracy by co-defendants Luis Angel Nunez-Leon, Jose Gregorio Valenzuela-Favela, and Roy Brian Coolidge, among others.
A conviction for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine is punishable by not less than 10 years up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $10 million, and five years of supervised release. The charge of distributing methamphetamine is punishable by imprisonment of not less than five years to a maximum of 40 years, a $5 million fine, and a minimum term of four years of supervised release.
Romos-Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Co-defendant Valdez-Soto, 23, a Mexican national also known as Danny Leon-Romos, of Caldwell, pleaded guilty on February 27 to distributing methamphetamine. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Winmill on May 12. Coolidge, 43, of Nampa, Idaho, pleaded guilty on November 16, 2011, to distributing methamphetamine and will be sentenced in federal court in Boise on April 2 by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter of the Central District of California.
Co-defendants Luis Angel Nunez-Leon, 23, of Caldwell, and Jose Gregorio Valenzuela-Favela, 44, are fugitives.
“Today’s conviction underscores federal, state and local law enforcement’s commitment to aggressively prosecute drug traffickers who bring methamphetamine into our communities,” said Olson. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its partners will use all lawful means to bring to justice and seek punishment for those who traffic in it.”
The case was investigated by the Boise Police Department Narcotics Unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Nampa Police Department.
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