A 38-year-old man who helped distribute large amounts of methamphetamine throughout Southern Idaho will spend more than two decades in federal prison.
Jorge Cruz-Vizcarra, 38, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge in Boise to 26 years in prison for intent to distribute meth and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Cruz-Vizcarra also will forfeit money and guns seized during the investigation, which included undercover surveillance at a mobile home in Jerome, Idaho.
Police began investigating Cruz-Vizcarra after a confidential informant helped an undercover Idaho State Police sergeant buy a quarter pound of meth from an associate of Cruz-Vizcarra's, Lamberto Arroyo-Mora, in the parking lot of Sportsman's Warehouse in Twin Falls. Police followed a van from the parking lot to the mobile home in Jerome, where they set up a camera to covertly monitor activity there. Police arrested Arroyo-Mora on Jan. 11, then searched the mobile home on Jan. 13, where Cruz-Vizcarra lived with two children.
The driver of the van, Jorge Cruz Gonzalez, 19, was sentenced in August to seven months in prison. Arroyo-Mora, 30, also was sentenced in August to 50 months in prison. U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson praised Cruz-Vizcarra's substantially longer sentence of 322 months in a prepared statement.
Mr. Cruz-Vizcarra will pay a heavy price for bringing this dangerously addictive drug to Idaho communities, Olson said. Methamphetamine trafficking by foreign nationals is a serious problem that demands a serious response from law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts. State and federal law enforcement officers throughout Idaho will work together to ensure that drug traffickers are caught, prosecuted and convicted.