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Idaho State News

U.S. Attorney Hurwit Announces Federal Prison Sentences for Three Southern Idaho Drug Traffickers

Three Defendants to Serve a Combined 28 Years in Federal Prison



BOISE – U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced the results of three separate drug trafficking cases in Southern Idaho today.

  1. Coconspirators Each Sentenced to Over 100 Months in Federal Prison for Distributing Methamphetamine.

In one case, Jason Castillo, 46, of Nampa, and Cheyanne Juarez, 31, of Ontario, Oregon were each sentenced to over 100 months in federal prison for distributing methamphetamine.

According to court records, on December 20, 2022, Castillo sold two and half pounds of methamphetamine to another person.  On January 31, 2023, Juarez sold two pounds of methamphetamine to another person.  Their co-defendant, Owenn Mitchell, 41, of Salem, Oregon, was indicted on two counts of aiding and abetting the distribution of methamphetamine.  Mitchell’s case is scheduled for trial on June 24, 2024.

In a separate federal case, Castillo also pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  In January of 2023, Castillo went on a crime spree where he was found in possession of a pound of methamphetamine, approximately 63 grams of fentanyl, and three firearms.  Castillo has several prior violent felonies involving domestic violence and drug trafficking offenses.  He also has a prior federal felony for unlawful possession of a firearm.  These priors make him prohibited from possessing firearms.

On April 2, 2024, Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary, from the Northern District of Ohio, sitting by designation, sentenced Castillo to 175 months (over 14 and a half years) in federal prison, on each case to run concurrently with each other.  Judge Zouhary also ordered Castillo to serve five years of supervised release after the completion of his prison sentence.

On April 4, 2024, U.S. District Judge Amanda K. Brailsford sentenced Juarez to 101 months (over 8 years) in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release after the completion of her prison sentence.

  1. Nampa Woman Trafficking Meth, Heroin, and Fentanyl Sentenced to 66 Months in Federal Prison.

In a separate case, Mary Jo Myers, 46, of Nampa, was sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl.  Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary, from the Northern District of Ohio, sitting by designation, also ordered Myers to serve three years of supervised release following her prison sentence.

According to court records, Myers was pulled over for a traffic violation on February 10, 2022.  During the traffic stop, a canine trained in the detection of the odor of controlled substances, conducted an open-air sniff around the vehicle and positively alerted to the presence of the odor of a controlled substance emanating from the vehicle.  Investigators searched the vehicle and found over a half pound of methamphetamine, 82 grams of heroin, approximately 150 fentanyl pills, and 12 grams of fluorfentanyl powder, a fentanyl analogue.

U.S Attorney Hurwit applauded the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, which is led by the FBI, for the investigations in the CastilloJuarez, and Mitchell cases.  In addition to the work of the Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, U.S. Attorney Hurwit thanked the following agencies for assisting in the investigation: the DEA, the ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Caldwell Police Department, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, the Nampa Police Department, Idaho Department of Correction, the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office, the Malheur County Sherriff’s Office, the Ontario Police Department, the Oregon State Police, and the High Desert Drug Task Force in Oregon.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit also commended Canyon County’s City-County Narcotics Unit (CCNU), which is comprised of investigators from the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Caldwell Police Department, for their investigation in the Myers case.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelsey Manweiler and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Nafzger are prosecuting the Castillo and Juarez cases.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David Morse prosecuted the Myers case.

An indictment is merely an allegation or a set of allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


The Castillo, Juarez, and Mitchell indictments were part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The Castillo, Juarez, and Mitchell cases were prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes.  The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southwest Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth.


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