Investigation Leads to Indictment of Eleven People on
Federal Gun and Drug Charges
Six People Arrested Today With the Help of FBI SWAT
BOISE – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced the arrests earlier today of Jeramie Ethan Mahler, 26, of Star, Idaho; Michelle Christina Ritch, 35, Nearia “Nick” William Pinnell, 42, Wendy Demirdjian Harrison, 52, and Daniel Eric Vaughan, 51, all of Nampa, Idaho; and Scott Vicente Hernandez, 42, of Oakland, California, on federal charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. The Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, assisted by FBI SWAT, executed the federal arrest warrants today at four Treasure Valley locations.
On July 9, 2013, a federal grand jury in Boise returned a superseding indictment charging eleven defendants, including the six named above, with conspiracy to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine; two defendants also face charges for illegally possessing firearms. Hernan Gomez-Gutierrez, 30, a Mexican national, and Carlos Eberardo Tovar, 28, of Nampa, charged in the original indictment filed on May 16, 2013, were arrested previously. Both are set for trial on September 10 before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise. Two defendants, Darrell Ray Zirschry, 32, of Nampa, and Bobbi Eileen Woolsey, 35, of Boise, are currently in custody on state charges. The final defendant, Juan Luis Mojica-Barragan, 24, a Mexican national, has an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine is punishable by a minimum term of ten years up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $10 million. Two defendants, Gomez-Gutierrez and Mojica-Barragan, were also indicted for distributing methamphetamine and cocaine, which is punishable by up to twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Zirschry is charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm, which is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Mahler is charged with brandishing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which is punishable by a minimum term of ten years up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force is comprised of federal, state and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boise Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell Police Department, Nampa Police Department, Meridian Police Department, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, and Idaho Department of Probation and Parole.
The case is 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.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. A 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.