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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Two Plead Guilty to Federal Drug Crimes

Cases Arise From Investigation of Nampa Northside “Norteno” Gang

BOISE – Jose Manuel Menchaca, 35, and Nicole Danelle Nieto, 31, both of Nampa, Idaho, pleaded guilty in United States District Court to distribution of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

Nieto, who pleaded guilty yesterday, sold methamphetamine to a police informant on two occasions in June 2014, according to information presented in court.  Law enforcement agents located additional methamphetamine when they searched Nieto’s residence on June 18, 2014. On that same date, Nieto admitted she was selling methamphetamine.

Menchaca, who pleaded guilty today, sold methamphetamine to a police informant on three separate occasions, according to the plea agreement.

A federal grand jury indicted Menchaca and Nieto in two separate indictments filed on October 15, 2014.  Although charged separately, the cases are both part of a larger long-term investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force.  The investigation focused on the “Norteno” Northside gang, which is active in Nampa and other parts of the Treasure Valley.  Fourteen individuals were indicted on drug and gun charges as a result of the investigation.

The charge against Menchaca is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine up to $5 million, and a minimum of 4 years supervised release.  He is scheduled for sentencing on May 28, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge, at the federal courthouse in Boise.

The charge against Nieto is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1 million, and at least 3 years of supervised release.  She is scheduled for sentencing on May 26, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge, at the federal courthouse in Boise.

These cases and the other related cases are the result of a joint investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  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.

The cases are being prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership, the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, 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 treasurevalleypartners.org.

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Updated March 11, 2015