Unsealed Indictment Charges Five in Eastern Idaho Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
Ongoing OCDETF Operation Has Resulted in 21 Being Charged to Date
POCATELLO – United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that two men and one woman were arrested this morning on federal drug trafficking charges, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The seven count indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on October 23, was unsealed by the court today.
The defendants named in the indictment are Fausto Enrique Urias a/k/a “Slick Rick,” 31, Juan Carlos Garcia a/k/a “Shadow,” 35, Marco Antonio Echeverria a/k/a “Winks,” 24, Misti Chapman, 29, and Erica Rodriguez, 32, all of Idaho Falls. Urias, Garcia, and Chapman are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush at the federal courthouse in Pocatello. Echeverria and Rodriguez are currently in custody on state and local charges.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance is punishable by at least ten years up to life in prison, a $10 million fine, and a minimum term of five years of supervised release. The government is seeking forfeiture of currency and assets derived from the drug trafficking offenses.
The charges are the result of a long-term investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The five defendants named above bring the total number of defendants charged federally in the operation to 21. The OCDETF investigation included the cooperative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Idaho State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, and the Idaho Falls Police Department, with assistance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Rexburg Police Department, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service, the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
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.