Federal Jury Convicts Three Men For Conspiring To Distribute Meth
Twelve Co-Defendants Await Sentencing
BOISE – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that Jesus Guadalupe Sanchez a/k/a Jose Salazar, 31, a Mexican national, Michael Dennis Morris, 42, of Ontario, Oregon, and Jim Allen Loveland, 56, of Boise, Idaho, were convicted in United States District Court yesterday of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Sanchez was also convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. They are scheduled to be sentenced on April 8, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
During the six-day trial, the jury heard evidence that from early November 2011 through May 16, 2012, the defendants conspired with others, including their co-defendants, to distribute a total of approximately 11 pounds of methamphetamine in Canyon, Payette and Washington counties in Idaho.
Eleven co-defendants pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and are currently awaiting sentencing: Patrick Campbell, 36, of Boise, and Rachel Coblentz, 25, of Wrangell, Alaska, formerly of Weiser, are set for sentencing on February 1; Mario Martinez, Jr., 55, of Greenleaf, Idaho, Fabian Jordano Beltran, 23, and Jacob James Clevenger, 31, both of Weiser, on February 4; Amber Hites, 26, of Weiser, on February 26; Benjamine L. Vertner, 34, of Ontario, Kristopher Hensley, 26, of Weiser, and Johnathan E. Chapman, 27, of New Plymouth, Idaho, on February 27; Johnny A. Tambunga, 40, of Weiser, on February 28; and Dawson Lee Moore, 60, of Weiser, on March 27. Amy Maria Cavazos, 38, of Weiser, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and will be sentenced on February 1.
The charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years with the possibility of up to life in prison, a $10 million fine, and at least five years of supervised release. The charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $5 million, and not less than four years of supervised release.
“These convictions underscore federal, state and local law enforcement's commitment to aggressively prosecute drug traffickers who damage our rural communities, prey upon Idahoans and cause damage that ripples through our state,” said Olson. “Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug. The U.S. Attorney's Office and its law enforcement partners will use all lawful means to bring to justice and seek punishment for those who traffic in it.” Olson added that in 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office had a strong record of prosecuting methamphetamine cases – 73 defendants were sentenced collectively to a total of 6,694 months – over 557 years – in federal prison for methamphetamine crimes.
The case was investigated by the Idaho State Police.