A man who helped distribute methamphetamine in the Treasure Valley has been sentenced to 19 years in federal prison.
Jose Ramon Escobedo-Gonzalez, 35, a Mexican national, also will forfeit several firearms and will be on probation for five years after prison under a sentence imposed Monday by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Escobedo-Gonzalez and his associates distributed meth from September 2009 until mid-January 2011 after bringing it in from nearby states. Investigators seized five pounds of meth, as well as marijuana, guns, vehicles and $30,000.
Escobedo-Gonzalez pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
He admitted to trading guns for meth and said he used guns to protect himself while distributing meth, including at least five pounds in Canyon County, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Co-defendants sentenced earlier include Mexican nationals Jorge Luis Cardoza, Lourdes Muro-Garcia, Diego Gomez-Lara, Antony Alegria Zedeno, Juventino Lara-Plancarte, and Fabian Nunez-Garcia; and Nampa residents Victor Chavez-Garcia, Leann Atkisson, Ronald Garcia, and Benjamin Prieto. Their sentences totaled more than 75 years.
In a related case, Nampa residents Ana Reyes, alias Ana Gonzales, 25; Yolanda Yvette Salazar, 48; and Nereida Lopez, alias, Nereida Munoz, 30, of Caldwell, pleaded guilty in January to using a communication facility in furtherance of a drug offense. The women used a cell phone to arranged for Escobedo-Gonzalez to supply them with methamphetamine. They face up to four years in prison when they're sentenced in April.
Wendy Olson, U.S. attorney for Idaho, praised Escobedo-Gonzalez's 228-month sentence in a prepared statement.
Methamphetamine trafficking and firearms are a dangerous combination for Idahos communities," Olson said. "We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure that those who bring this horribly addictive drug into our state and those who further their criminal activity with firearms are identified, prosecuted and sent to prison.