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3 southern Idaho drug traffickers sentenced to federal prison


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 today involving fentanyl, methamphetamine and firearms.

“In each of these three cases, the defendant chose to distribute significant quantities of dangerous drugs in the Treasure Valley. As a result, each defendant is now heading to federal prison for a significant period of time,” Hurwit said. “Anyone else thinking of dealing drugs like fentanyl or methamphetamine in Idaho should think twice because, along with the DEA and our local law enforcement partners, we will spare no effort to hold you accountable and keep Idahoans safe.”

On Sept. 14, 2023, Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye sentenced Bradley Don Oakes, 39, of Nampa, to 188 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release and a $1,000 fine. According to court records, Oakes sold a combined 139.9 grams of methamphetamine to law enforcement on two occasions in late 2022. On Jan. 3, 2023, Oakes was pulled over on Interstate 84 for a traffic violation and found to be in possession of a .38 special revolver, a stolen 9mm semi-automatic pistol, 223.6 grams of methamphetamine, 2,315 grams of marijuana, 4 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 14 grams of hashish, and six tabs of LSD.

Oakes was deemed to be a career offender under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines due to two prior felony convictions for crimes of violence. In 2004, Oakes was convicted in California for assault with a firearm on a person. In 2013, also in California, Oakes was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer. Additionally, Oakes was previously convicted of attempted possession of a controlled substance, possession of a stolen vehicle, violation of a domestic violence protection order, and possession of methamphetamine. At the time of his current federal offense, he was on felony probation out of Canyon County. Oakes pleaded guilty to the charges on June 14, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Boise Police Department, the Nampa Police Department, and the Idaho State Police, which led to the charges in the Oakes case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Nafzger prosecuted this case.

In a separate case, Jason Lee Elsberry, 40, of Caldwell, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Amanda K. Brailsford to six and a half years in federal prison to be followed by four years of supervised release for the possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Elsberry pleaded guilty to the charge on May 23, 2023.

According to court records, on March 8, 2022, law enforcement officers responded to a car fire in Boise. When officers arrived on scene, they conducted an ID verification and discovered Elsberry had two outstanding arrest warrants. While placing Elsberry in handcuffs, he dropped a small ziploc bag that officers believed, based on their training and experience, to be consistent with a controlled substance. A subsequent field test identified the substance as fentanyl and a search of Elsberry’s vehicle uncovered approximately 3,000 fentanyl pills, in the center console. Elsberry admitted that he possessed those pills with the intent to distribute them to other persons. He also admitted that he sold between one and five boats a day (a boat is a street term for 1,000 fentanyl pills), that he received approximately 10,000 pills per week and about a kilogram of fentanyl powder every two weeks.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the investigation by the Boise Police Department, which led to the charges in the Elsberry case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Morse prosecuted this case.

In another case, Eric Moore, 40, of Boise, was sentenced by Judge Brailsford to 41 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for the possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Moore pleaded guilty to the charge on March 31, 2023

According to court records, between April and June 2022, Moore distributed fentanyl and methamphetamine to an undercover officer in the Treasure Valley on five separate occasions. When Moore was arrested for these offenses, he possessed 60 grams of fentanyl pills.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit credited the cooperative efforts of Drug Enforcement Administration, Boise Police Department, and the Boise Area Narcotics Drugs Interdiction Taskforce, which led to the charges in the Moore case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Blackadar prosecuted the case.

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