Man Sentenced to 180 Months in Federal Prison for His Role in Drug Conspiracy
BOISE—Hernan Gomez-Gutierrez, 31, a Mexican National, was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Gomez-Gutierrez to serve five years of supervised release. Gomez-Gutierrez pleaded guilty to the charge on January 14, 2014.
Gomez-Gutierrez was one of eleven individuals charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to information presented in court, Gomez-Gutierrez was the leader of the organization and the source of the methamphetamine. Gomez-Gutierrez provided the methamphetamine to other co-defendants who distributed the drugs. Gomez-Gutierrez was also present when co-defendant Jeramie Mahler shot another person on March 25, 2013, in furtherance of the drug conspiracy, because of a dispute with that person about the quality of the methamphetamine. The shooting occurred alongside a road in south Ada County near Amity and Linder roads. Gomez-Gutierrez and Mahler fled the scene leaving the injured man behind. Approximately a week later on April 2, 2013, a Canyon County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle that Mahler was driving. The deputies arrested Mahler and searched the vehicle, which was registered to Gomez-Gutierrez. Deputies found approximately one-quarter pound of methamphetamine and two handguns and in the vehicle, including the handgun used in the shooting. Gomez-Gutierrez was also arrested after he arrived at the location of the traffic stop driving a different vehicle. Deputies searched the vehicle Gomez-Gutierrez was driving and located a .45 semi-automatic pistol.
Gomez-Gutierrez and the other ten defendants were indicted on July 9, 2013, in a case including charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of 2 cocaine, and unlawful possession of firearms. All eleven defendants pleaded guilty. Co-defendants Wendy Harrison and Bobbi Woolsey were both sentenced to 84 months in prison; Nearia Pinnell was sentenced to 33 months in prison; Daniel Vaughan was sentenced to 80 months in prison; Darrell Zirschky was sentenced to 168 months in prison; Michelle Ritch was sentenced to 120 months in prison; Carlos Tovar was sentenced to 87 months in prison; Juan Mojica-Barragan was sentenced to 57 months in prison; and Jeramie Mahler was sentenced to 247 months in prison. Scott Hernandez has not been sentenced yet.
The case was investigated by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, which 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. Other agencies that contributed to this investigation include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Nampa Police Department, Caldwell Police Department, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, and Ada County Sheriff’s Office. During the investigation, law enforcement agents seized twelve firearms, including a stolen firearm, and an illegal fully-automatic machine gun.
The case is 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.