Four Defendants in Aryan Knights Investigation Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Meth
BOISE – Lisa Rochel Samayoa, 45, of Boise, Darin Scott Melton, 44, of Twin Falls, Idaho, Nina Ann Lucas, 32, of Pocatello, Idaho, and Omar Riveroll-Hernandez, 32, of Long Beach, California, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to conspiring together to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
A federal grand jury indicted the defendants on September 12, 2012. The indictment and thirteen others were the result of a long-term investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force. The investigation focused on illegal drug distribution by the “Aryan Knights,” a gang active in prison and on the streets throughout Idaho. Through the investigation, law enforcement agents identified Aryan Knights gang members who were trafficking methamphetamine, as well as associates of the gang who were the source of that methamphetamine.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine is punishable by up to life imprisonment, a maximum fine of $10 million, and a minimum term of five years of supervised release.
The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on May 6, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
"Methamphetamine is a dangerous and addictive drug that destroys lives and harms Idaho communities," said Olson. "These four defendants face severe consequences for choosing to traffic methamphetamine for personal profit. This office and federal, state and local law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute drug traffickers." Olson said that her office had a strong record of prosecuting methamphetamine cases in 2012, with 73 defendants sentenced in federal court in Idaho for methamphetamine distribution crimes.
The cases were the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which included the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force, a task force comprised of federal, state and local agencies, including the Boise Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell Police Department, Nampa Police Department, Meridian Police Department, and Canyon County Sheriff’s Office; the Twin Falls Police Department, Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Police, and District 3 Probation and Parole.
The Aryan Knights cases are being prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes. The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southwest Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth. For more information, visit treasurevalleypartners.org.
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.