Another Guilty Plea in Norteno Investigation
BOISE, ID—Richard Lobato, 51, of Nampa, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to distributing methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Lobato was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 15, 2014.
According to the plea agreement, Lobato admitted that he distributed methamphetamine to a confidential informant on two occasions. On October 9, 2013, Lobato and another person sold approximately one-quarter of an ounce of methamphetamine to the informant. On October 23, 2013, Lobato sold another one-quarter of an ounce of methamphetamine to the informant.
The charge of distributing methamphetamine is punishable by a minimum term of imprisonment of five years and up to forty years, a maximum fine of $5 million, and a minimum term of four years’ supervised release. Lobato is scheduled to be sentenced on November 19, 2015, by Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Lobato was charged as a result of an investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, which focused on the “Norteno” Northside gang that is active in Nampa and other parts of the Treasure Valley. Fourteen individuals were indicted on drug and gun charges as a result of the investigation. To date, seven defendants have been sentenced. Michael David Bradshaw, 31, of Nampa, was sentenced on August 6, 2015, to 66 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine. Guadalupe Serrano, 35, of Caldwell, was sentenced on April 21, 2015, to 75 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and for possessing firearms in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime. Nicole Danelle Nieto, 31, of Nampa, was sentenced on May 26, 2015, to 41 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine. Jose Manuel Menchaca, 35, of Nampa, was sentenced May 28, 2015, to 60 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine. On June 17, 2015, Brandi Larrea, 31, of Nampa, was sentenced to 48 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine and Tara Noelle Rivera, 30, of Nampa, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine. Johnny Lee Martinez, 33, of Nampa, was sentenced on July 20, 2015, to 57 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine. Two others have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Kenny P. Breedlove, 35, of California, is scheduled to be sentenced on October 15, 2015, and Guillermo Farias Jr., 29, of Nampa, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 15, 2015. Lobato was the tenth defendant to plead guilty. Two others are scheduled for trial including Jose Enrique Olvera Jr., 51, of Nampa, and Isaac Bright, 21, of Caldwell. Two defendants have outstanding warrants, including Ruben Rodriguez, 36, and Veronica Cantu, 26, both of Nampa.
These cases are the result of a joint investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force is comprised of federal, state and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Boise Police Department; Ada County Sheriff’s Office; Caldwell Police Department; Nampa Police Department; Meridian Police Department; Canyon County Sheriff’s Office; and Idaho Department of Probation and Parole. The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), includes the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and 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.
These cases are being prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes. The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southwest Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth. For more information, visit treasurevalleypartners.org.