Two Mexican Nationals Sentenced for Drug Trafficking
POCATELLO – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that Josue Rodriguez-Sanchez, 25, of Idaho Falls, and co-defendant Fernando Garcia, 31, of Logan, Utah, were sentenced this week in United States District Court for violating federal drug laws.
Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Rodriguez-Sanchez on Tuesday to 120 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to the charge on August 14, 2013.
U.S. District Judge Brian Ted Stewart of the District of Utah sentenced Garcia today to 10 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute a small amount of cocaine. He pleaded guilty on September 20.
According to plea agreements filed in the case, Rodriguez-Sanchez admitted that between November 29, 2010, and January 25, 2011, he distributed cocaine and methamphetamine in the Idaho Falls area. He further admitted that in total he distributed more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and that he received the narcotics from various co-defendants. Garcia admitted that on April 22, 2011, he arranged to sell and subsequently delivered cocaine to an individual in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for $1,150.
The remaining co-defendant, Julian Vega-Valdez, 25, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty on August 14 to distributing five grams or more of actual methamphetamine. According to the plea agreement, Vega-Valdez admitted that on January 10, 2011, he met with Rodriguez-Sanchez in Idaho Falls and provided him with more than five grams of methamphetamine for distribution to other individuals. Vega-Valdez is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2014, before the Hon. N. Randy Smith, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), including the Idaho State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, Idaho Falls Police Department, Madison County Sheriff's Office, Rexburg Police Department, Bingham County Sheriff’s Office, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Other federal agencies participating in the OCDETF program include the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service.
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.