Head of North Idaho Drug Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Launder Money
COEUR D'ALENE – Loren Michelle Toelle, 52, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho pleaded guilty yesterday conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to launder money, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Toelle was indicted by a federal grand Jury in Coeur d'Alene on January 20, 2016.
In court, Loren admitted to being the head of a drug trafficking organization which distributed 3000 (80 mg) oxycodone pills, 1000 (30) milligram oxycodone pills, 1,500 grams of heroin and 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine in the District of Idaho and elsewhere. She also admitted to renting or causing to be rented apartments and storage units in Spokane, Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Williston, North Dakota and Fargo, North Dakota which were used to hold controlled substance or where co-conspirators stayed when selling controlled substances. Toelle admitted that she and her co-defendants’ received and deposited, into various accounts, currency totaling at least $1,466.611.31 of which Toelle personally received and deposited at least $538,777.86.
Toelle is the ninth of 11 defendants to plead guilty in connection to the conspiracy. In addition to pleading guilty, Toelle agreed to forfeit any interest she has in real property, jewelry, and cash held by herself or co-conspirators, as outlined in the indictment.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances is punishable by at least 5 years and up to 40 years in prison, a $5,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised released after release from prison. Conspiracy to launder money is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $500,000 and up to 5 years of supervised release after release from prison.
Sentencing is set for May 2, 2017, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene.
“I am very proud of the efforts of the men and women from all the various law enforcement agencies who worked tirelessly on this case to dismantle the Loren Toelle drug trafficking organization,” Olson stated. “Their efforts demonstrate that, in Idaho, we will bring to justice those who seek to poison communities with dangerous, addictive drugs.”
The case was investigated by CDA Police, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), Kootenai County Sheriff, North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force (NIVCTF), Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The OCDETF program is a federal multi agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.