BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Josh Hurwit announced the results of three separate drug trafficking cases in southern Idaho involving fentanyl, methamphetamine, and fluorofentanyl. Fluorofentanyl is an analogue of fentanyl.
“These cases show the unwavering commitment of my office and our law enforcement partners to remove drug traffickers from our communities,” US Attorney Hurwit said. “In each of these cases, the defendant possessed firearms, which exacerbates the danger to the public of illicit drug distribution. There should be no confusion on the streets: drug trafficking and unlawfully possessing firearms means a long stay in federal prison.”
On August 29, 2023, Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Joseph Castro, 38, of Seattle, Washington, to 188 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. According to court records, in September 2022, Boise Police arrested Castro in connection with a narcotics investigation. While searching his backpack after arrest, officers located 2.8 pounds of fentanyl in powder and pill form, four firearms, one of which was stolen, and numerous rounds of ammunition. Castro pleaded guilty to the charge on June 5, 2023. Castro has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for burglary, domestic violence, battery, felon in possession of a weapon, and possession of a controlled substance.
Photo of fentanyl and firearms seized in Castro case showing “LV” and “300” imprinted on the brick of fentanyl powder.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of the Boise Police Department, Boise Area Narcotics Drugs Interdiction Taskforce, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which led to the charge in the Castro case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Blackadar prosecuted this case.
In a separate case, Koty Dillon Cooley, 32, of Boise, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Amanda K. Brailsford to nine years in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release for the possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine. Cooley’s sentence was enhanced because he possessed a firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking offense.
According to court records, Cooley was pulled over for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, officers obtained probable cause to search the vehicle for controlled substances. During the search, they found over 400 grams of methamphetamine, over 140 grams of fentanyl, a digital scale, a revolver, two loaded shotgun magazines, a loaded Glock magazine, a plastic container with 67 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition, and approximately $3,612 in illicit drug proceeds.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the investigations by the Idaho State Police, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which led to the charges in the Cooley case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Morse prosecuted this case.
In another case, Angelica Campos, 36, of Nampa, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute fluorofentanyl.
According to court records, on October 18, 2022, U.S. Probation was attempting to serve a warrant. Officers contacted Campos outside of her residence. During a search of her purse, officers found 103 fluorofentanyl pills, 3.1 grams of methamphetamine, $885 in cash, and 35 Alprazolam (Xanax) pills. Officers also searched her vehicle and found a loaded .22 long rifle mini revolver, 48 rounds of .22 ammunition, a ledger with drug sales and prices, and drug paraphernalia.
At the time she committed this offense, Campos was on supervised release with U.S. Probation because she was previously convicted in federal court for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also sentenced Campos to 30 months in prison for violating her supervised release. That sentence was ordered concurrently to the 60-month sentence for the new drug crime. Judge Winmill also ordered Campos to serve three years of supervised release following her prison sentence. Campos pleaded guilty to the charge on May 30, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit credited the cooperative efforts of U.S. Probation and the Caldwell Police Department, which led to the charge in the Campos case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelsey Manweiler prosecuted this case.