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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

U.S. Attorney Announces Sentences in Two Firearms Cases

BOISE – Two men from southern Idaho were sentenced to federal prison in separate firearms cases this week, announced Josh Hurwit, the United States Attorney for the District of Idaho.

Scott Arlis Thomas, 48, of Caldwell, Idaho, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 120 months in federal prison for the unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition, and silencers.  Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Thomas to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

Thomas has a lengthy criminal history that includes three drug trafficking convictions and a prior conviction for unlawfully possessing a firearm.  Due to his criminal history, Thomas is not able to lawfully possess firearms.  According to court records, on July 24, 2020, law enforcement conducted a search of Thomas’s shop in Caldwell, Idaho.  Inside, officers located four firearms and four silencers.  Officers also located marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, and methamphetamine.  The silencers were not registered to Thomas, as required by the National Firearms Act. 

In a separate case, Juan Jose Sanchez, 31, of Nampa, Idaho, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 96 months in federal prison for the unlawful possession of a firearm.  Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Sanchez to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence. 

Sanchez also has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for aggravated battery, possession of heroin, burglary, and the unlawful possession of a firearm.  Due to his criminal history, Sanchez is not able to lawfully possess firearms.  According to court records, on February 19, 2021, Sanchez possessed a firearm while at another individual’s residence in Nampa, Idaho.  Sanchez shot that individual in the leg during an altercation, fled the residence, and discarded the firearm.  Law enforcement responded, investigated, and eventually located and arrested Sanchez.

“I am pleased with the successful prosecution of these repeat offenders who posed a risk to public safety,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit.  “It is imperative that we work to reduce violent crime by aggressively pursuing those who unlawfully possess firearms.  The cooperative efforts of the federal, state, and local agencies that work together to combat these crimes make a real difference.”

The Thomas case was investigated by the FBI Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, the Caldwell Police Department, the Idaho State Police, and the Idaho Department of Correction.

The Sanchez case was investigated by the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, FBI’s Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

These cases were 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.  

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; Ada County Sheriff’s Office; Boise Police Department; Caldwell Police Department; Canyon County Sheriff’s Office; Meridian Police Department; Nampa Police Department; and Idaho Department of Correction.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Christy Gunderson Public Information Officer (208) 334-1211
Updated August 17, 2022