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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison In E. Idaho Meth Trafficking Case

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

POCATELLO – Raymond Camacho, a/k/a Jesus Mendoza-Nunez, 58, a Mexican national, was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court to 360 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Camacho will be deported at the conclusion of his prison term. He appeared before Judge N. Randy Smith of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting by designation as a district court judge. The defendant is the sixth person sentenced in the case.

Camacho pleaded guilty to the charge on January 24, 2013. According to the plea agreement, on November 24, 2011, his vehicle was stopped by law enforcement officers in Bannock County, Idaho. A search of the vehicle uncovered approximately three pounds of methamphetamine, which contained more than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine. Based on surveillance and information provided by others, it was determined that Camacho knew the methamphetamine was in the vehicle and intended to distribute to others.

Five co-defendants were sentenced in April and May 2013 to serve federal prison sentences for related drug trafficking offenses. Juan Aguilar, a Mexican national, was sentenced to 120 months; Juan Mendoza, of Menan, Idaho, to 102 months; Douglas I. McAdam, of Pocatello, to 33 months; and Marilyn Leones, of Pocatello, to 25 months. Jose Rios-Jimenez, a Mexican national, was sentenced to 16 months—time served—for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and illegal entry of a removed alien.

The final defendant in the case, Eldon K. McConnell, 49, of Pocatello, pleaded guilty yesterday to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. According to the plea agreement, on November 30, 2011, McConnell was found in possession of 3.7 grams of methamphetamine at a hotel room in Chubbuck, Idaho. Sentencing is set for April 9, 2014, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1 million, and at least three years of supervised release.

Camacho is the fourteenth defendant to be sentenced to prison for crimes related to methamphetamine trafficking in federal courts in Idaho this week. Ten, including Camacho, were sentenced in federal court in Pocatello. Four were sentenced in Boise. They were sentenced to a total of 1,150 months or more than 96 years in federal prison.

“Methamphetamine is a dangerously addictive substance that does great harm to our Idaho communities,” said Olson. “Law enforcement officers in Idaho at all levels have worked tirelessly to identify, target and investigate major methamphetamine distribution rings in all parts of the state. The fourteen individuals sentenced in federal court this week received firm and just punishment.”

The case was investigated by Idaho State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Chubbuck Police Department.

Updated December 15, 2014