Caldwell Man is Sentenced to 20 years for Fentanyl and Methamphetamine Trafficking
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho
BOISE – Rigoverto Hernandez, 31, of Caldwell, was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.
According to court records, on April 4, 2023, officers with the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force executed a search warrant at an AirBnB where Hernandez was staying. During the search, Hernandez was found in possession of 19,900 fentanyl pills, 13.5 pounds of methamphetamine, and three firearms. Hernandez was prohibited from possessing firearms due to several prior felony convictions.
Hernandez has a criminal history that includes felony convictions for unlawful possession of a firearm, burglary, and possession of a controlled substance. According to Hernandez, he grew up around a significant amount of gang violence, which lead him to join a local gang. Although Hernandez admitted he was a gang member, he contends he dropped out of the gang in 2014.
U.S. District Judge Amanda K. Brailsford also ordered Hernandez to serve 5 years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Hernandez pleaded guilty to the federal charge in November of 2023.
“The quantity of fentanyl pills in this case could have killed thousands of Idahoans, and I am grateful to law enforcement for its successful investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement to remove dangerous fentanyl dealers from our communities. They have no place here in Idaho.”
“Illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine have destroyed countless lives, and Rigoverto Hernandez helped fuel this epidemic in our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha of the Salt Lake City FBI. “His sentencing is the result of federal, state, and local partners working hand-in-hand to keep our communities safe.”
“I appreciate the hard work of our law enforcement partners that went into securing justice in this case,” said Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor. “It takes all of us to eradicate the wickedness of fentanyl in our community.”
“We are in a battle to protect our citizens from the onslaught of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs smuggled into the State of Idaho,” said Canyon County Sheriff Keiran Donahue. “The Transcontinental Criminal Organizations (TCO’s) capitalize on drug traffickers like Hernandez to sell these drugs on our streets, with a profit margin to the Cartels, in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually. It is cooperative, multi-agency investigative efforts like those of the Metro Violent Crime and Gang Task Force and our relationships with the United States Attorney’s Office that help remove these threats from our streets. I would hope the criminal element is paying attention. If you traffic poisonous and deadly drugs in Idaho, we will find you, we will prosecute you, and we will send you to prison. That’s a promise.”
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force for its efforts in this case. The Task Force is comprised of federal, state, and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Caldwell Police Department, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Idaho Department of Correction.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit also thanked the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for its support of the investigation.
This case was 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.
This case was also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Public Information Officer
Updated January 31, 2024