U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announces one of the largest investigations of drug distribution in state history

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Posted at 5:12 PM, Aug 21, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — It's one of the largest drug crackdowns Idaho has ever seen.

Today, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit, along with federal, state, and local agencies announced the results of one of the largest investigations of Methamphetamine and Fentanyl distribution in state history.

Local agencies recognized Idaho as being an ideal distribution location for drug dealers, saying that now, more than ever before, and due to the number of highways that lead to our cities, both users and dealers of drugs are here in Idaho.

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"These overlapping investigations resulted in 18 indictments of 25 individuals involved in drug trafficking and firearm offenses in southwestern Idaho," said Hurwit.

Two large-scale organized crime and drug enforcement task forces were dedicated to this operation.

During these investigations, law enforcement seized approximately 98 pounds of Methamphetamine, 21 Fentanyl pills, 531 grams of Fentanyl powder, 38 firearms, 3 bulletproof vests, and more than $121,615 U.S. dollars.

"Having these illicit drugs removed off the street has made this community safer. We all know that drugs and violence go together, that they go hand in hand," said Shohini Sinha, a Special Agent with the FBI.

It is believed that several of those arrested are associated with local street gangs that have ties to the Jalisco Nuevo Generation Cartel.

"This threat, as I have said before, is real. It is not imagined. Your kids, your family members are at risk because of the criminality,” said Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue.

As for the leads to this case, officials say these big operations can get started with something as simple as pulling over an individual that provides a tip to something much larger. This, in addition to the high-density drug trafficking area running from Portland to Pocatello, allows those drug task forces to bring in information.