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Mexican national sentenced to 46 months for meth distribution

BOISE, Idaho — A Mexican national living in Idaho was sentenced Monday to 46 months in prison for distribution of methamphetamine, following a multiagency investigation including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Esteban Villegas-Gamez, 39, formerly of Bellevue admitted in a May plea agreement to selling methamphetamine and firearms to a confidential informant working with investigators. Court records state Villegas-Gamez made multiple illegal sales between November 2013 and January 2014. He admitted the combined total of the methamphetamine he sold the informant during the different transactions was in excess of 50 grams.

Villegas-Gamez’s co-defendant, 18-year-old Bellevue resident Ismael Hernandez-Valle, pleaded guilty to the same charge Tuesday. He admitted to a December 2013 sale of methamphetamine. Hernandez Valle is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team, with the assistance of HSI and the Idaho State Police. The Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team includes the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office; the Sun Valley, Hailey and Ketchum police departments; and the Bellevue Marshal’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by an Idaho special assistant U.S. attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes.