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Press Release

Lewiston Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho

COEUR D'ALENE – A Lewiston man was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

According to court records, Richard Lee Black, 43, of Lewiston, conspired with Helene Martensen, 51, and Adam Johnson, 34, both of Clarkston, Washington, to distribute methamphetamine in the Lewiston area. Lewiston Police Department detectives, assigned to the Quad Cities Drug Task Force, arrested Black in January 2020, when he was found in possession of distribution quantities of methamphetamine, empty baggies, a digital scale and cash. Several months later, in June 2020, after a significant collaborative effort, the FBI North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force stopped the vehicle of Martensen and Johnson and seized approximately two pounds of methamphetamine. The key evidence, however, was obtained through FBI search warrants for cell phone and cell phone records. These records showed the effort of each conspirator to sell illegal drugs and firearms in the Lewis and Clark Valley, and on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.

Martensen was sentenced on March 17, 2021, to 90 months in federal prison. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2022.

Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also ordered Black to serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Black pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2021.

U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho made the announcement and commended the cooperative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Nez Perce County Prosecutor’s Office, Lewiston Police Department, Nez Perce Tribe Police Department, Idaho State Police, Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office, Clarkston Police Department, Asotin County Sheriff’s Office, Whitman County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which led to charges.

The Quad Cities Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional group of law enforcement officers working together to target drug trafficking in Lewiston and Moscow, Idaho, and Clarkston and Pullman, Washington.

The North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force (NIVCTF) is an FBI led task force with law enforcement officers from Lewiston Police Department, Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office, Grangeville Police Department, Nez Perce Tribe Police Department, Idaho State Police, and Post Falls Police Department. The mission of the NIVCTF is to identify and target for prosecution criminal enterprise groups and individuals responsible for crimes of violence and the manufacture and distribution of illegal narcotics.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.



Public Information Officer
(208) 334-1211

Updated March 4, 2022

Drug Trafficking