Another Co-Conspirator Sentenced in Large Treasure Valley Drug Case
Mexican National is Fifth Conspirator Sentenced
BOISE – Antony Alegria Zedeno, 25, a Mexican national formerly residing in Caldwell, Idaho, was sentenced in United States District Court today to 48 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Zedeno will be deported to Mexico following his release from prison. He pled guilty to the charge on March 21, 2012.
According to the plea agreement, Zedeno admitted that between September 2009 and January 16, 2011, he and his co-defendants distributed in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine throughout southwest Idaho. Zedeno also admitted that he accompanied codefendant Jose Ramon Escobedo-Gonzalez on several occasions when Escobedo-Gonzalez distributed methamphetamine and that he actively participated with Escobedo-Gonzalez in various transactions, including driving Escobedo-Gonzalez to a transaction, and on one occasion, handing methamphetamine to another individual.
Five co-defendants sentenced earlier include Mexican nationals Jorge Luis Cardoza, Lourdes Muro-Garcia, and Diego Gomez-Lara, and Leann Atkisson and Ronald Garcia, both of Nampa, Idaho. Cardoza will serve 120 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Muro-Garcia will serve 30 months for money laundering; Gomez-Lara will serve 19 months for using a communication device in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense; and Atkisson and Garcia were each sentenced to 51 months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Awaiting sentencing are co-defendants Benjamin Prieto, (September 17), Victor Chavez Garcia (October 1), Juventino Lara-Plancarte and Fabian Nunez-Garcia (October 2), and Jose Ramon Escobedo-Gonzalez (December 10).
According to plea agreements, the organization brought pounds of methamphetamine into Idaho from surroundings states and distributed it throughout the Treasure Valley. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized five pounds of methamphetamine, marijuana, numerous firearms, vehicles, and more than $30,000 in currency.
“This case sadly illustrates how people like Zedeno, who are mostly law abiding, see their lives change once they start to use methamphetamine,” said Olson. “It is tragic when a promising young man with almost no criminal record gets sucked into the dark world of drug conspiracy when his addiction to meth leads to taking orders, serving as a courier, working out deals, and carrying a firearm. Regardless of how it starts, however, methamphetamine trafficking warrants swift and severe punishment.”
The Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case, named “Operation Flamethrower,” is the result of a year-long, multi-agency investigation. Investigators and prosecutors from federal, state, and local agencies cooperated in the arrests and seizures. It included the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Nampa Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Canyon County Sheriff's Office, Canyon County SWAT team, Metro Violent Crime Task Force, Idaho State Police, Caldwell Police Department, Ada County Sheriff's Office, Boise Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Canyon County Prosecutor's Office, District 3 Probation and Parole, and the United States Attorney'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.
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.