BOISE – Ubaldo Soto-Diaz, an illegal alien from Mexico, but residing in Portersville, California, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle Debra Parker and U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.
Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also ordered Soto-Diaz to pay a $2,000 fine and serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Soto-Diaz pleaded guilty to the charge on July 18, 2019.
According to court records, Soto-Diaz admitted that between August 28, 2018, and January 28, 2019, he conspired with six other defendants to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. Soto-Diaz was found to be the leader and organizer of an extensive criminal organization that was responsible for distributing high potency methamphetamine, manufactured in Mexico and then transported from California to Idaho. During their investigation of Soto-Diaz and his organization, DEA agents seized over thirty pounds of 100% pure methamphetamine and almost two pounds of black tar heroin.
According to court records, Soto-Diaz had previously been convicted of transporting a controlled substance in 2000 and possession of controlled substances for sale in 2009. He was deported to Mexico on May 17, 2010. He was found to be illegally present in the United States on May 26, 2010, and was convicted of illegal entry. He again illegally returned to the United States and was convicted of possession of controlled substances for sale and unlawful possession of a firearm in 2012. At the time Soto-Diaz conspired to distribute methamphetamine and heroin to Idaho, he was illegally living in Portersville, California.
This case was a result of a joint investigation with Drug Enforcement Administration, Nampa Police Department, Canyon County Narcotics Unit, and Ada County Sheriff’s Office.
This indictment is the result of a joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multijurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies.
The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. Program participants include HSI; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and U.S. Marshals Service.
As the largest investigative agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), HSI investigates and enforces more than 400 federal criminal statutes – more than any other U.S. law enforcement agency. HSI special agents use this authority to investigate cross-border criminal activity – including drug trafficking – and work in close coordination with local state and federal law enforcement agencies to target transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that are bringing dangerous substances, such as illicit fentanyl, into the community.