BOISE – A Caldwell man pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it to others.
According to court records, Jesus Enrique Morales, 30, of Caldwell, was pulled over on June 9, 2021, for failing to maintain his lane. During the Idaho State Police trooper’s routine license and registration check, he discovered that Morales had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The trooper asked Morales to step out of the vehicle so he could place him under arrest. Morales stepped out of his vehicle and immediately began to argue with the officer about his pending arrest. That argument turned into a physical altercation and after a prolonged fight on the ground, Morales ran towards the freeway in the direction of oncoming traffic. The trooper tased Morales, dragged him off the road to ensure that he would not be struck by any oncoming traffic, and placed him under arrest. As the trooper and other law enforcement officers waited for an ambulance to arrive to check on Morales, a police dog, which was trained and certified to detect the odor of controlled substances, positively alerted to the odor of a controlled substance in Morales’ vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered 345.4 grams of methamphetamine. Morales has admitted that he possessed the methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it to others.
Morales is scheduled to be sentenced on January 12, 2022 and faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years and a maximum sentence of forty years in federal prison, a five million dollar fine, and at least four years of supervised release. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho made the announcement and commended the investigation by troopers with Idaho State Police District 3, Meridian, which led to charges. “The community needs to know that methamphetamine is a very dangerous drug. Meth use is associated with numerous serious physical problems: rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain, all of which can lead to stroke. Chronic use of the drug can result in inflammation of the heart lining. Overdoses can cause hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), convulsions, and death,” Gonzalez added.
This case was prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with funds provided by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. HIDTA is part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. It provides assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. Idaho is part of the Oregon-Idaho HIDTA. The Idaho HIDTA is a collaboration of local, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement drug task forces, and prosecuting agencies dedicated to addressing regional drug trafficking organizations that operate in Ada, Canyon, Bannock, Kootenai, and Malheur Counties.
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