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Idaho methamphetamine dealers plead guilty to drug charges

POCATELLO, Idaho – Two Idaho Falls methamphetamine dealers pleaded guilty Wednesday to drug charges stemming from an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Jaime Meza-Gonzalez, 47, admitted to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting. His co-defendant, Saul Arellano-Alvarado, 41, pleaded guilty to distributing five grams or more of methamphetamine. According to the plea agreements, in November 2010, Meza-Gonzalez was contacted for the purpose of purchasing methamphetamine. He directed the buyer to Arellano-Alvarado, who arranged a parking lot drug deal in Idaho Falls where he sold the 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 to life in prison, a maximum fine of $10 million, and at least five years of supervised release.

The two defendants are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 17 by Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.

The third defendant in the case, Roberto Carlos Camarena, 25, of Sugar City, is a fugitive. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the OCDETF, including HSI; the FBI; the Idaho State Police; the sheriff’s offices of Bonneville, Madison, Bingham and Fremont counties; the police departments of Idaho Falls and Rexburg; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The OCDETF program is a federal multiagency, multijurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.