Central Idaho Drug Conspiracy Charged in Federal Court
COEUR D'ALENE - Ryan James Cook, 35, and Richard Gordon Bashaw, 49, both of Grangeville, Idaho, and Justina Maemarie Foster, 39, of Lewiston, Idaho, were arrested on February 27, 2020, on federal gun and drug charges, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced. The charges stem from a February 19, 2020, eight-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court by a federal grand jury sitting in Coeur d’Alene.
The indictment alleges that between May 24, 2019, and January 21, 2020, Cook, Bashaw, and Foster conspired to distribute methamphetamine. The indictment identifies five separate instances of drug distribution and alleges that recently, on January 21, 2020, Cook possessed over 50 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it. Cook is also charged with felon in possession of a firearm.
Federal methamphetamine distribution charges are generally punishable by up to twenty years in prison, a fine up to $1 million, and at least three years of supervised release. Defendants charged with distributing more than five grams of pure methamphetamine face a minimum term of five years and up to forty years in prison, a fine up to $5 million, and a minimum of four years supervised release. Defendants charged with distributing more than fifty grams of pure methamphetamine face a minimum term of ten years and up to life in prison, a fine up to $10 million, and a minimum of five years supervised release.
The charge of felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Cook, Bashaw, and Foster were arraigned on February 28, 2020, in Coeur d’Alene. Trial on the matter has been set for April 6, 2020, at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene. All three defendants will remain in custody pending trial.
This case was investigated by the Hells Canyon Narcotics Working Group, composed of investigators with Federal Bureau of Investigation, Idaho State Police, Lewiston Police Department, Nez Perce Tribal Police, Grangeville Police Department, and Idaho County Sheriff’s Office. The United States Forest Service and Quad Cities Drug Task Force also assisted in the investigation.
This indictment was the result of a joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. Program participants include Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and U.S. Marshals Service.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
# # #