Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leader of Canyon County Meth Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Federal Prison

BOISE—Amanda Smith, 32, of Homedale, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday for her leadership role in a methamphetamine trafficking organization that imported multiple pounds of 100 percent pure methamphetamine from Nevada to Idaho, announced Wendy J Olson, United States Attorney for the District of Idaho. The organization distributed methamphetamine to Norteno gang members throughout Canyon County. United States District Judge B Lynn Winmill sentenced Smith to 20 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Smith was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and to forfeit $25,000 in cash proceeds.

At sentencing, evidence was presented that Smith sold methamphetamine to documented Norteno gang members, deposited money in bank accounts out of state, and directed others to travel to Nevada to pick up multi-pound shipments of methamphetamine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Laboratory determined that the methamphetamine imported to Idaho was 100 percent pure. Smith was found to be in possession of a stolen firearm at the time of her arrest. It was determined that during the conspiracy, Smith and her co-defendants kidnapped a customer at gunpoint in an effort to ensure payment for past methamphetamine sales.

“Methamphetamine trafficking, particularly to gang members, is a serious problem that demands a serious response from law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts,” said Olson. “Law enforcement has recently seen an alarming increase in high potency methamphetamine being imported into Idaho from California, Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico.

These defendants, appropriately, will pay a heavy price for bringing this dangerously addictive drug to Idaho communities. State and federal law enforcement officers throughout Idaho will continue to work together to ensure that drug traffickers and gang members are caught, prosecuted and convicted.”

Three co-defendants have previously been sentenced: Ricardo Mercado was sentenced to 188 months in prison; Ruben Arredondo Mora was sentenced to 120 months in prison; and Lorrie Ann Chavez was sentenced to 78 months in prison. Co-defendant Aron Herrera Gonzales is scheduled to be sentenced on December 2, 2011.

The case was investigated by the FBI Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force and the Nampa Police Department Special Investigations Unit.

Reported by: FBI