Burley Father and Son Found Guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
BOISE — A federal jury found father, Sergio Chavez-Verduzco, 42, and son, Sergio Chavez-Macias, 20, of Burley, Idaho, guilty yesterday evening of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez, Jr. announced. Chavez-Verduzco was also convicted of participating in a continuing criminal enterprise. A third defendant, Armando Orozco-Guillen, 21, of Jerome, Idaho, was acquitted. The jury’s decision came after a five-day trial in United States District Court in front of Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.
The evidence presented during the trial showed that in 2015 and early 2016, Chavez-Verduzco and Chavez-Macias were the source of supply to multiple large scale drug traffickers in the Treasure Valley. The evidence specifically identified Brian Weaver Cluff of Caldwell, Idaho, and James Piersol of Garden City, Idaho, as traffickers supplied by Chavez-Verduzco and Chavez-Macias. The evidence showed that Chavez-Verduzco and Chavez-Macias were sending double digit pound quantities of methamphetamine to both Cluff and Piersol on a regular basis in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars.
Chavez-Verduzco and Chavez-Macias’ sentencings are scheduled for August 25, 2017, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill. Because of Chavez-Verduzco’s conviction for participating in a continuing criminal enterprise, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. Chavez-Macias faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years for his role in the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
The case was investigated by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the City County Narcotics Unit of Canyon County, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Gooding County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Idaho State Police.
The case was prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with funds provided by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. HIDTA is part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. It provides assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. Idaho is part of the Oregon-Idaho HIDTA. HIDTA in southwest Idaho is a collaboration of local, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement drug task forces, and prosecuting agencies dedicated to addressing regional drug trafficking organizations that operate in Ada, Canyon, and Malheur County.