POCATELLO – Jaime Meza-Gonzalez, 47, and Saul Arellano-Alvarado, 41, both of Idaho Falls, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court to federal drug charges, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Meza-Gonzalez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, aiding and abetting; Arellano-Alvarado pleaded guilty to distributing five grams or more of methamphetamine.
Meza-Gonzalez faces up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1 million, and at least three years of supervised release. Arellano-Alvarado faces a minimum term of 10 years up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $10 million, and at least five years of supervised release.
According to the plea agreements, on November 16, 2010, an individual contacted Meza-Gonzalez for the purpose of purchasing methamphetamine. Meza-Gonzalez directed the individual to Arellano-Alvarado. On November 17, Arellano-Alvarado made arrangements to distribute methamphetamine to the individual at a parking lot in Idaho Falls, and subsequently sold the individual in excess of five grams of methamphetamine.
Arellano-Alvarado and Meza-Gonzalez are scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.
The third defendant, Roberto Carlos Camarena, 25, of Sugar City, Idaho, is a fugitive. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Idaho State Police, Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, Idaho Falls Police Department, Madison County Sheriff's Office, Rexburg Police Department, Bingham County Sheriff’s Office, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Other federal agencies participating in the OCDETF program include the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service.
The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.