Drug User Enters Guilty Plea to Gun Offense
BOISE – Jose Balderas-Duarte, 28, of Caldwell, Idaho, entered a guilty plea yesterday to the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Balderas-Duarte was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 12, 2016.
According to the plea agreement, on December 8, 2015, Balderas-Duarte was stopped as part of an investigation into a claim that he had engaged in assault with a deadly weapon. Balderas-Duarte was removed from the vehicle and arrested. Officers searched his person and located a 9 mm magazine in his pocket. The vehicle was subsequently searched and a 9 mm caliber pistol was located between the center console and the front passenger seat where he had been seated prior to his arrest.
Balderas-Duarte was interviewed by a detective and admitted to possessing the gun. Balderas-Duarte told the detective that he had purchased the gun two months prior to the date of the interview and admitted that he was a methamphetamine addict who had last smoked methamphetamine a few days prior to his interview. Federal law prohibits a user of illegal controlled substances to possess a firearm. Balderas-Duarte is a legal alien however, given the conviction he will likely be deported following sentencing.
The charge of unlawful possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Balderas-Duarte’s sentencing is set for August 31, 2016 before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.
The case was investigated by the Boise Police Department and members of the Boise Police Department Gang Unit as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The 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. For more information, visit treasurevalleypartners.org.