Meth ring leader to spend 3 decades in prison

POSTED: 06:01 PM MDT Oct 24, 2013    UPDATED: 06:10 PM MDT Oct 24, 2013 
POCATELLO, Idaho -

Three eastern Idahoans were sentenced to federal prison sentences for their involvement in a meth-trafficking operation, and the leader will get more than 30 years behind bars.

The ring was active in the Idaho Falls area from November 2009 to October 2012.

Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced the trio at the federal courthouse in Pocatello this week.

Jorge Fausto Urias, 32, of Idaho Falls, got 35 years in prison plus 10 years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. He was the leader of the organization, according to a news release Thursday from the U.S. Attorney's Idaho office. Urias had guns in connection with his role, and he used violence and threats in carrying out his criminal activities.

The news release stated his meth dealings were his livelihood. Urias was also ordered to forfeit $100,000 to the U.S. government and has to pay a $5,000 fine.

Another defendant, Benito Joya, 58, of Rigby, was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine.

Also sentenced was Misti Chapman, 30, of Idaho Falls. She got a year and a half in prison for distribution of methamphetamine, but since she was also charged with violating a previous imposed term of supervised release, she will actually be in prison for 21 months. Her prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release and 80 hours of community service.

Others, all from Idaho Falls, were charged in the drug-trafficking ring. They are the following:

- Marco Antonio Echeverria, 25
- Erica Rodriguez, 33
- Juan Carlos Garcia, 36

They pleaded guilty in August and will be sentenced in December.

The charges against the six defendants stem from a joint investigation of multiple federal, state and local agencies.