News and Press Releases

Two More Sentenced in Large Treasure Valley Meth Trafficking Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 02, 2012

BOISE – Mexican nationals Juventino Lara-Plancarte, 44, and Fabian Nunez-Garcia, 49, were sentenced today in United States District Court for conspiring with 12 co-defendants to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. The men are the eighth and ninth defendants sentenced to federal prison in the case.

U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge sentenced Lara-Plancarte to 180 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine. He pled guilty to the charge on March 6, 2012. Co-defendant Nunez-Garcia was sentenced to 87 months in prison. He pled on June 8. Because both are in the United States without legal authorization, they will be subject to deportation after they are released from federal prison.

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. Thirteen people were charged in the federal indictment filed on February 2011 on numerous charges, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, employment of people under age 18 in drug operations, distributing methamphetamine, using a telephone to commit drug trafficking crimes, possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, and illegal re-entry.

Seven co-defendants have been sentenced to date: Mexican nationals Jorge Luis Cardoza, Lourdes Muro-Garcia, Diego Gomez-Lara, and Antony Alegria Zedeno; and Leann Atkisson, Ronald Garcia, and Benjamin Prieto, all of Nampa, Idaho.

Two remaining defendants, Victor Chavez Garcia and Jose Ramon Escobedo-Gonzalez, are set for sentencing on November 13 and December 10, respectively.

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.