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2 Idaho men enter guilty pleas to drug trafficking conspiracy

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – A Pocatello man and a Murtaugh man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

Between January 1 and March 24, 2021, Joseph Alexander Huber, 35, of Pocatello and Antonio Verduzco-Arreola, 40, of Murtaugh entered into an agreement to distribute controlled substances in the Pocatello area. On March 21, 2021, two pounds of methamphetamine was abandoned in a Pocatello hotel room rented by Verduzco-Arreola. On March 24, 2021, Pocatello Police officers conducted surveillance near the hotel in Pocatello. Officers observed Huber meet with both Verduzco-Arreola and a third co-defendant. Verduzco-Arreola was later contacted by law enforcement and found in possession of 439 grams of counterfeit oxycodone that contained fentanyl. When Huber was arrested on April 30, 2021, police officers found 82 grams of methamphetamine in Huber’s possession and 167 grams of methamphetamine in his hotel room.

On March 29, 2022, Verduzco-Arreola pleaded guilty to entering into an agreement with his co-defendants to distribute fentanyl. Verduzco-Arreola is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14, 2022, before Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye and faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

On March 30, 2022, Huber pleaded guilty to entering into an agreement with his co-defendants to distribute methamphetamine. Huber is scheduled to be sentenced on July 25, 2022, before Chief Judge Nye and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho made the announcement and commended the cooperative efforts of the Pocatello Police Department, Idaho State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which led to charges.

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