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Mexican meth trafficker nabbed in Idaho sentenced to 30 years

POCATELLO, Idaho – A Mexican national caught in Idaho trafficking methamphetamine was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in federal prison following a joint probe by federal, state and local authorities.

Raymond Camacho, aka Jesus Mendoza-Nunez, 58, pleaded guilty last January to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. According to court records, on Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day, Camacho and co-defendant Juan Aguilar, 60, were in a vehicle that was stopped by law enforcement officers in Bannock County. A search of the vehicle uncovered approximately three pounds of methamphetamine. Forensic analysis later determined the substance contained in excess of 50 grams of actual methamphetamine. Camacho and Aguilar admitted knowing the methamphetamine was in the vehicle and acknowledged they intended to distribute it to others.

"Methamphetamine is a dangerously addictive substance that does great harm to our Idaho communities," said U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. "Law enforcement officers in Idaho at all levels have worked tirelessly to identify, target and investigate major methamphetamine distribution rings in all parts of the state."

Five other defendants in this case have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 16 months to 10 years. Several defendants, including Camacho, are Mexican nationals who will face deportation following the completion of their federal prison terms.

The final defendant in the case, Eldon K. McConnell, 49, of Pocatello, pleaded guilty Thursday to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. According to the plea agreement, on Nov. 30, 2011, McConnell was found in possession of nearly four grams of methamphetamine at a hotel room in Chubbuck. McConnell’s sentencing is set for April 9.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Idaho State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Chubbuck Police Department. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho is prosecuting.