POCATELLO — A federal grand jury in Pocatello today returned a superseding indictment charging California residents Reynalda Estrada-Gutierrez, 37, of Bakersfield; Porfirio Gutierrez, 36, of Los Angeles; Araxy Suarez, 21, of Downey; and Raquel Rios, 23, and Angelina Nava, 31, both of Burley, Idaho, on six counts of drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. All but Suarez were also charged with conspiring to launder money. Estrada-Gutierrez was additionally charged with unlawfully possessing a handgun.
The defendants were arrested on November 6, 2013; four are in custody on state charges. The indictment alleges that between April 19, 2013, and November 6, 2013, the defendants conspired to distribute and possessed with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. The indictment also alleges that Estrada-Gutierrez, Rios, and Gutierrez collectively distributed methamphetamine on three occasions, and that Gutierrez, Suarez, and Nava possessed with the intent to deliver methamphetamine on the date of their arrest. Also between April 19 and November 6, 2013, all but Suarez are alleged to have conspired to conduct financial transactions affecting interstate and foreign commerce and involving the proceeds of drug trafficking activities, with the intent to further the drug trafficking and to conceal the source of the money.
Federal drug trafficking charges are generally punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1 million, and three years of supervised release. Where the defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, they face a minimum term of ten years, up to life, in prison, a fine up to $10 million, and a minimum of five years supervised release. Money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $500,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Unlawful possession of a firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The government is seeking forfeiture of assets derived from and involved in the criminal conduct.
A trial is set for December 30, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.
The charges are the result of a joint investigation by the Minidoka and Cassia County Sheriffs’ Offices and Idaho State Police, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.