Defendants in Aryan Knights Investigation Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Meth
BOISE – Jesse Ray Delgado, 47, of Boise, Idaho, and Dennis James, 47, of San Pablo, California, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. The defendants were charged in two separate cases.
At today’s hearing, Delgado admitted that he entered into a conspiracy with other individuals to distribute methamphetamine. Delgado acknowledged that he would purchase methamphetamine and then distribute it in the Boise area. On February 16, 2012, he sold approximately one-half ounce of methamphetamine to a confidential informant. On March 14, 2012, law enforcement agents served a search warrant on Delgado’s residence and recovered over three ounces of methamphetamine. Delgado faces an enhanced sentence because of his prior conviction for possession of controlled substances in 2001.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, as enhanced, is punishable by up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $20 million, and a minimum term of ten years of supervised release. Delgado is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
James, who also pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, admitted that on June 13, 2012, he and a co-defendant sold approximately one-quarter ounce of methamphetamine to a confidential informant. The following day, on June 14, 2012, James and the co-defendant again sold approximately one-quarter ounce of methamphetamine to the same individual. James faces an enhanced sentence because he was previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2006.
James faces up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $8 million, and a minimum term of eight years of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 3, 2013, by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
James’ co-defendant, Nicholas Andrew Steele, pleaded guilty on December 21, 2012, to distribution of methamphetamine. Sentencing is set for March 25.
Delgado, James and Steele are three of the 23 people charged as a result of a long-term investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force. The investigation began when the task force 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 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 the Idaho Department of Correction. The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) also contributed to the investigation, 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, and U.S. Marshals Service.
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