Crime

Buhl man sentenced for Boise, Mountain Home drug sales

Alejandro O. Vela, 33, was sentenced Wednesday to more than 15 years in federal prison for dealing methamphetamine.

Vela’s sentence by Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill follows that of his wife and co-defendant, Esmirna Vela, who was sentenced earlier this month to a year in prison.

A tipster notified police that Alejandro Vela was selling meth. The person who provided the tip then arranged, under police supervision, to buy methamphetamine twice over the summer of 2014.

The first sale came on July 30, 2014, in the parking lot of a Mountain Home grocery store. The informant bought an ounce of meth for $1,125. Esmirna Vela accompanied her husband in a 1999 GMC Denali, where the transaction took place.

On Sept. 3, 2014, the informant arranged to buy an additional ounce of meth for $1,300. Alejandro Vela called the informant to tell him he was running late and Esmirna Vela arrived to complete the sale.

This past January 21, Caldwell police received a report of suspicious activity at a Caldwell hotel. Alejandro Vela was found with more than $2,400 in cash and several plastic bags of methamphetamine. They discovered additional bags of meth when Vela was searched at the Canyon County Jail, according to court documents.

Both the Denali and a 1985 Cadillac Eldorado driven by Vela to the Caldwell hotel were seized by police and forfeited.

Vela, who sought a sentence of 10 years, has a long history of substance abuse that started when he was 13, according to a plea agreement. He began using meth at age 19 and got hooked on oxycodone following a traffic accident in 2009.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell

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