Benjamin Prieto, 26, pleaded guilty in July to attempted possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. According to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson, Prieto made arrangements in 2010 to buy a meth-containing substance from co-defendant Jose Escobedo-Gonzalez. He later admitted that he intended to sell the substance, according to the statement.
On Monday, federal Judge Edward Lodge sentenced Prieto to 70 months in prison and five years of supervised release.
The prosecution of Prieto is a result of Operation Flamethrower a year-long drug investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the Treasure Valley.
Other defendants already sentenced as part of Operation Flamethrower are Leann Atkisson and Ronald Garcia, both of Nampa. Four defendants are awaiting sentencing between Oct. 1 and Dec. 10: Victor Chavez Garcia, Juventino Lara-Plancarte, Fabian Nunez-Garcia and Jose Ramon Escobedo-Gonzalez. According to the statement from Olson's office, members of the organization targeted by Operation Flamethrower admitted to bringing pounds of methamphetamine into Idaho from surroundings states and distributing it throughout the Treasure Valley. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized five pounds of methamphetamine, marijuana, firearms, vehicles and more than $30,000 in cash.