Twin Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Charge in Aryan Knights Investigation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 14, 2013|
BOISE—Christopher John Solders, 26, of Twin Falls, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to distribution of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, Solders admitted that he sold methamphetamine on two occasions to a person working with law enforcement officers. The first transaction occurred on February 22, 2012, and the second on May 1, 2012.
A federal grand jury indicted Solders on September 12, 2012. The indictment and 13 others were the result of a long-term investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force. The investigation focused on illegal drug distribution by the Aryan Knights, a gang active in prison and on the streets throughout Idaho. Through the investigation, law enforcement agents identified Aryan Knights gang members who were trafficking methamphetamine, as well as associates of the gang who were the source of that methamphetamine.
The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1 million, and at least three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is set for April 29, 2013, before the Hon. John C. Coughenour, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Washington, at the federal courthouse in Boise.
The cases were the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which included 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; U.S. Marshals Service; and the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force, a task force composed of federal, state, and local agencies, including the Boise Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell Police Department, Nampa Police Department, Meridian Police Department, and Canyon County Sheriff’s Office.
The Aryan Knights 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.