News Release
Date: July 12, 2010
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Mexican Citizens Sentenced for Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana
on Public Lands

JUL 12 -- (Idaho) - Froylan Rubio-Gomez, 23, of Mexico, was sentenced July 6, 2010 to 46 months in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants. Rubio-Gomez pled guilty to the charge on April 12, 2010. A co-defendant, Horatio DeAvila-Cabrera, 34, also of Mexico, was sentenced in June 2010 to 63 months in prison. Both defendants will be deported to Mexico after their release from prison.

The defendants in this case were indentified by law enforcement in the spring of 2009. Through extensive surveillance, and other investigative means, illegal marijuana sites associated with three different criminal organizations were identified on public lands. As a result, in August 2009, seven persons were federally indicted in three separate cases.

The defendants in this case were associated with marijuana grows in Owyhee County, Idaho, as well as Baker, Grant and Harney counties in Oregon. Over 33,000 plants were confiscated in these grows. As a result of joint investigations in Idaho and Oregon, an additional 15 defendants were prosecuted in state and federal courts in Oregon.

Rubio-Gomez was known as a “lunchero,” a person who was involved in the illegal operation by purchasing irrigation equipment, cultivation supplies and food used by the workers who lived at the grow sites. Rubio-Gomez also assisted in transporting marijuana workers to various grow sites in Idaho and Oregon.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho National Guard Counterdrug Support Program, Sheriffs’ offices in Ada, Adams, Blaine, Boise, Canyon, and Owyhee counties in Idaho, and Harney, Baker, Grant, and Malheur counties in Oregon, City-County Narcotics Unit (consisting of the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Caldwell Police Department), Baker (Oregon) County Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Boise City Police Department, Idaho State Police, Oregon State Police, U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Harney County (Oregon) District Attorney’s Office, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Idaho and Oregon.

The arrests and search warrants were conducted as part of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), led by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.