Large-Scale Multi-State Methamphetamine Organization Members Plead Guilty to Conspiracy
BOISE – Maribel Betancourt, 41, of Meridian, Idaho, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Betancourt is scheduled to be sentenced before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on September 29, 2015. Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release. Betancourt has also agreed to forfeit $2,000 in cash proceeds.
Betancourt and thirteen co-defendants were charged on February 10, 2015, in a ten count indictment alleging conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distributing methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. According to court documents, the conspiracy was responsible for bringing over 4.5 kilograms of high purity methamphetamine from California to Idaho from August 2014, to January 2015.
Co-defendants Jose Luis Corrales Cruz, 58, of Ramona, California; Juan Navarrete, 19, of Ontario, Oregon; and Jorge Sandoval, 21, of Placentia, California, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine and agreed to forfeit $100,000 in cash proceeds. Conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine is punishable by at least 10 years in prison and not more than life, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release. Ruby Martinez, 41, of Nampa, Idaho; Marco Antonio Tinoco, 26, of Ontario, Oregon; and Hernan Arteaga-Solchaga, 23, of Nampa, Idaho, pleaded guilty earlier this month to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Martinez and Arteaga-Solchaga agreed to forfeit $2,500 in cash proceeds, while Tinoco agreed to forfeit $4,500. The six of the above defendants are set for sentencing in September 2015.
Oscar Adan Jaimez-Munoz, 35, of Placentia, California; Ruben Rangel Perez, 34, of Placentia, California; Rafael Sotero Lopez-Vasquez, 43, of Nampa, Idaho; and Andres Navarrette, Jr., 26, of Ontario, Oregon, have change of plea hearings later this month. Carmen J. Gomez-Rangel, 49, of Nampa, Idaho, remains a fugitive.
Francisco Sandoval, 60, of Placentia, California, and Horacio Linares, 47, of Anaheim, California, are currently set for trial on November 16, 2015, before Judge Winmill.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, the Boise Police Department, the Meridian Police Department and the Nampa Police Department, as well as the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which includes the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and U.S. Marshals Service. 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.