U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and State and Local Law Enforcement Officials Announce “Don’t Click December” Consumer Protection Campaign
POCATELLO – United States Attorney Bart M. Davis, Minidoka County Sheriff Eric Snarr, and Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward have announced that in the last year, fourteen individuals from Minidoka and Cassia Counties have been charged in federal court with drug trafficking and firearm crimes. The criminal prosecutions are a result of collaborative efforts between the two sheriffs’ offices, prosecutors from Minidoka and Cassia County, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Eastern Idaho Partnership.
Under the direction of the two sheriffs, the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force has worked closely with federal investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to investigate federal drug trafficking and firearm cases. The cases were presented to a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) employed by the Eastern Idaho Partnership, and charged federally.
Minidoka County Sheriff Eric Snarr said, “We’ve made a concerted effort to work together with our prosecutors, nearby agencies, and the Eastern Idaho Partnership to crack down on drug trafficking and firearms in Minidoka and Cassia Counties. These fourteen prosecutions represent a lot of hard work, teamwork, and commitment from all involved.”
According to documents filed in federal court, the following fourteen individuals have been charged federally through the efforts:
“We are taking drug and firearm crime very seriously in the Mini-Cassia area,” said Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward. “We will continue to work hard with those in the Eastern Idaho Partnership to help Minidoka and Cassia counties to be the safe places they are.”
The Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force is a joint group of deputy-detectives from the Minidoka County and Cassia County Sheriff’s offices. The task force focuses its efforts at interdicting drug, firearm, and other criminal activity in the area.
The eastern Idaho SAUSA program is sponsored by the Eastern Idaho Partnership (EIP), a coalition of local city and county officials in eastern Idaho. The Partnership provides approximately 30 percent of the SAUSA’s salary and benefits; the State of Idaho, through the Idaho Department of Correction, contributes the remaining 70 percent.
The current SAUSA, Bryan Wheat, works out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Pocatello branch and serves agencies and cities involved in the Partnership. The Partnership’s goal is to federally prosecute serious drug trafficking, firearm, and violent crime in eastern Idaho, focusing on persistent offenders. Individuals who are prosecuted in federal court and ordered to serve federal prison sentences serve their sentences in federal prisons, rather than in Idaho-funded prisons and jails. Federal sentences are served out of state, which helps to disrupt criminal networks. Additionally, prosecuting offenders in federal court allows law enforcement and prosecutors to pursue longer sentences through the federal sentencing structure.
Sheriff Snarr also said, “By working together, we multiply our efforts. We are very happy with the hard work and accomplishments of everyone involved in this joint effort. We are saving Idaho taxpayer money, while holding serious offenders accountable. We believe our citizens have and will continue to see real benefits to our community from this.”
"The Cassia County Prosecuting Attorney's Office diligently serves with the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force and the eastern Idaho SAUSA program in aggressively investigating and prosecuting individuals for illegal drug trafficking, delivery, and possession and unlawful possession of firearms in Cassia County,” said Cassia County Prosecutor Abenroth. “The support provided by the United States Attorney for the District of Idaho is integral to the successful investigation and prosecution of these individuals within our county and individual communities in the past year."
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Public Information Officer