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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

Monday, March 4, 2019

Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force Methamphetamine Investigation Results in Two Federal Prison Sentences

Emmanuel Garza and Adolfo Mata-Lopez Sentenced to Prison After Pleading Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

POCATELLO – Emmanuel Garza, 25, of Rupert, Idaho, and Adolfo Mata-Lopez, 28, of Paul, Idaho were sentenced in U.S. District Court to federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.

Garza received a 100-month prison sentence on February 27, 2019, for his part in the conspiracy.  Mata-Lopez, sentenced in January 2019, received a 108-month sentence for his part in the conspiracy. 

According to court records, Garza was the subject of a drug trafficking investigation by the Mini-Cassia drug task force between January and November 2017.  Mata-Lopez and Garza were arrested on November 4, 2017, when detectives from the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Mata-Lopez’s residence in Paul.  The detectives caught Garza and Mata-Lopez in the middle of a drug deal inside.  Garza, Mata-Lopez, and another occupant of the home fled and were caught.  Mata-Lopez had two ounces of methamphetamine, packaged into two one-ounce baggies, in his shirt pocket.  In the house, police found 475 grams of actual methamphetamine, part of which Mata-Lopez had agreed to distribute to Garza.  Garza admitted that he intended to re-sell the methamphetamine.  Detectives also recovered firearms, scales, and drug distribution paraphernalia in the home.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s specially deputized Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) funded by the Eastern Idaho Partnership and the State of Idaho.  The Eastern Idaho Partnership is 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 Partnership’s goal is to federally prosecute serious drug trafficking, firearm, and violent crime in eastern Idaho, focusing on persistent offenders.  Individuals 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.

Minidoka County Sheriff Eric Snarr said, “We thank the diligent detectives in the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force, our local prosecutors, the Eastern Idaho Partnership SAUSA, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their cooperation.  The investigation was well done, and we are thankful to have the backing of our federal partners to hold serious drug dealers in our community accountable.”

Minidoka County Prosecuting Attorney Lance Stevenson said, “This case demonstrates the valuable benefit of the collaboration between Minidoka County Prosecutors Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Eastern Idaho Partnership SAUSA, and the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force in helping to successfully prosecute criminals and protect the citizens of our community.”

U.S. Attorney Davis said, “We are continually proud to have such a productive working relationship with our Eastern Idaho Partners and the State of Idaho’s Department of Correction.  This case demonstrates what we can achieve by combining smart tactics with dedicated support from the community, law enforcement, and political leaders.”

This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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CASSIE FULGHUM Public Information Officer (208) 334-1211
Updated March 4, 2019