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Justice News

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Norteno Gang Members Sentenced to Federal Prison

BOISE – Mateo Salome Espinoza, 20, of Nampa, Idaho was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison yesterday for the crime of unlawful possession of ammunition, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.  Following his term of imprisonment, he will have to serve three years of supervised release.  A federal grand jury indicted Espinoza and his brother Juan on April 12, 2016.

According to the plea agreement, on February 4, 2016, officers conducted a probation search of Juan and Mateo Espinoza’s residence in Nampa, Idaho.  Juan Espinoza had posted several photographs and videos on Facebook of himself around firearms.  Both Juan and Mateo Espinoza were on felony probation and prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition. Mateo Espinoza had been convicted in Canyon County for the crime of aggravated assault and Juan Espinoza had been previously convicted of burglary.  Inside the residence, officers found ammunition in each man’s bedroom. During the search, Mateo arrived at the residence and was arrested on an outstanding Canyon County warrant. He was searched and two hypodermic needles were found in his pockets. His cell phone was also searched and numerous text messages were found showing that he had recently been trying to sell a 45 caliber firearm. Both men admitted to possessing the ammunition found inside their bedrooms.  Juan Espinoza entered a guilty plea on August 2, 2016 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison on October 19, 2016.

This case is the result of a joint investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the Nampa Police Department.  The Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force is comprised of federal, state and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Boise Police Department; Ada County Sheriff’s Office; Caldwell Police Department; Nampa Police Department; Meridian Police Department; Canyon County Sheriff’s Office; and Idaho Department of Probation and Parole.  The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), 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.

This case was being prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes.  The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southwest Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth.  For more information, visit 

Drug Trafficking
Updated December 7, 2016