Latest News on the Medicare Advantage Program

Elderly Southern Idaho couple sentenced to federal prison for trafficking more than 40 pounds of meth

Husband and wife Efren Avilez-Lopez, 81, and Maria Medina-Zeveda, 70, both Mexican nationals living illegally in Ontario, were convicted of trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine in Idaho, it was announced Wednesday US Attorney Josh Hurwit.

On February 12, Chief US District Judge David C. Nye sentenced Avilez-López to nine years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. On February 13, Chief Judge Nye sentenced Medina-Zeveda to 37 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Both Avilez-López and Medina-Zeveda were ordered to serve three years of supervised release. Both will be deported after serving their sentences.

According to court records, on April 15, 2023, Avilez-López and Medina-Zeveda sold an undercover agent 5 pounds of methamphetamine in the parking lot of a Nampa convenience store. On April 25, 2023, the two sold an undercover agent 20 pounds of methamphetamine in the parking lot of a Nampa convenience store.

Then, on May 12, 2023, Avilez-López and Medina-Zeveda drove from Ontario to Los Angeles to pick up a large shipment of methamphetamine. On their way home, they were stopped by law enforcement in Owyhee County, where it was discovered they were transporting four family members, including a minor child. A dog, which was trained and certified to detect the scent of illegal drugs, alerted to the vehicle and when officers searched the vehicle they located 21 pounds of methamphetamine on the floorboards.

“These defendants were the driving force behind a major drug trafficking organization that, thanks to law enforcement, has been dismantled,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “Although we don’t usually find drug traffickers at this stage of life, make no mistake: these defendants earned their punishment. We will continue to do our part to ensure that justice is applied fairly and equitably to everyone, regardless of age or background.”

“The drug threat can come from anywhere and is not restricted to any age or demographic group, as this case dramatically illustrates,” said David F. Reames, DEA Seattle Field Special Agent in Charge. Division. “Whether these criminals are young or old, the Drug Enforcement Administration and our partners will relentlessly pursue those who poison our communities with methamphetamine or other dangerous drugs.”

Nampa Police Chief Joe Huff and Caldwell Police Chief Rex Ingram attributed the success in these cases to strong partnerships between local, state and federal law enforcement.

Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue echoed those observations, adding, “It also demonstrates that the illicit drug trade, inherently operated by transcontinental criminal organizations such as the New Generation Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels , knows no bounds. These people are not what the average person would think of when they hear the term drug dealer. This is a couple in their 70s and 80s who bought and sold extremely high amounts of methamphetamine, endangering countless of lives, including those of his own family.

Idaho State Police Commander Russ Wheatley said this work embodies “the principles of ‘Esto Perpetua,'” an executive order targeting methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking, and now also human trafficking, put in place march for Idaho Governor Brad Little. .

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Nampa PD, Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Probation and Parole, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell Police Department, City-County Narcotics Unit, Idaho State Police, Oregon State Police, PD d ‘Ontario, the Owyhee County Prosecutor’s Office and the High Desert Drug Task Force in Oregon.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian Nafzger prosecuted the case. U.S. Attorney Hurwit expressed his gratitude to each of the law enforcement agencies for their efforts in this case which brought justice through their efforts.

The High Desert Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts and dismantles local, multi-state and international drug trafficking organizations through an intelligence-driven approach supported by multi-agency prosecutors. The task force is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

This indictment is part of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Task Force against Organized Crime. This task force identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States through a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Comments are closed.