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Idaho State News

Caldwell Man Sentenced to 6.5 Years for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Idaho

BOISE – Jesus Enrique Morales, a 30-year-old from Caldwell was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison for possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it to others.

According to court records, on June 9, 2021, Idaho State Police troopers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Morales because he failed to maintain his lane. During the stop, the trooper 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 about his pending arrest. When Morales resisted arrest, it resulted in a physical altercation with the trooper attempting to place Morales into handcuffs.

After a prolonged fight, 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 has prior convictions for battery, possession of a controlled substance, and providing false information to law enforcement.

U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, from the District of Wyoming, sitting by designation, also ordered Morales to pay a $500 fine and to serve four years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Morales pleaded guilty to the charge on October 13, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho, made the announcement and commended the investigation by the Idaho State Police, which led to charges.

This case was prosecuted by the Special Assistant United States 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.