News Release
June 4, 2010
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Seven Members of Coeur D'Alene Cocaine Ring Arrested

JUN 4 -- (Idaho)  - Five men and two women were arrested May 27, 2010 on federal drug conspiracy charges in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Kennewick, Washington.  Federal search warrants were executed at six locations in Coeur d’Alene and one residence in Kennewick.  State search warrants and arrests were also conducted in conjunction with the investigation.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, between January 2000 and May 2010, the defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and marijuana. 

The defendants charged are as follows:

James O’Neill, 48, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho;
Manuel Rivera, 34, of Kennewick, Washington;
Gary Votava, 51, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho;
Christopher McFarland, 48, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho;
Stephen McCabe, 51, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho;
Debra Margraff, 48, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho;
Lecia O’Neill, 44, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho;

The defendants each face a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in federal prison, up to life, and a fine of up to $4 million. A complaint is only an allegation of criminal conduct and is not evidence of guilt.  A person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force which supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.    The investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Idaho State Police.  The following agencies provided substantial assistance:  Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshal’s Service, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Prosecutors Office, North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force, U.S. Forest Service, Tri-Cities (Washington) Metro Drug Task Force, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington.