Diego Gomez-Lara, 28, a Mexican national formerly living in Nampa, Idaho, pleaded guilty Friday in United States District Court to using a communication device to commit a drug trafficking offense, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Sentencing is set for Sept. 4 in Boise.
According to his plea agreement, Gomez-Lara used his personal phone to contact co-defendant Jose Ramon Escobedo-Gonzalez on his cell phone in January to arrange for Gonzalez to distribute methamphetamine to Gomez-Lara for future distribution to others.
The charge of using a communication device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by up to four years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Eight co-defendants have pled guilty to related charges; seven are scheduled to be sentenced later this summer.
The defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in the Treasure Valley. According to plea agreements, the conspiracy began in September 2009 and continued to mid-January 2011. The organization brought pounds of methamphetamine into Idaho from surroundings states and distributed it throughout the Treasure Valley. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized five pounds of methamphetamine, marijuana, numerous firearms, vehicles, and more than $30,000 in currency. The United States is seeking forfeiture.
The indictment was the result of a year-long investigation named Operation Flame Thrower.