RUPERT, Idaho (KLIX) – Two Minidoka County men have been sentenced to federal prison for eight and nine years, respectively, for drug crimes.

Emmanuel Garza, 25, of Rupert and 28-year-old Adolfo Mata-Lopez of Paul were sentenced in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, according to U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis.

Garza received a 100-month prison sentence on Feb. 27 for his part in the conspiracy, Davis said in a news release on Monday, while Mata-Lopez, sentenced in January, received a 108-month sentence.

Court records show that Garza was the subject of a drug trafficking investigation by the Mini-Cassia drug task force between January and November 2017, according to the news release. The men were arrested on Nov. 4, 2017, when detectives from the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Mata-Lopez’s residence in Paul and caught them in the middle of a drug deal.

The men, along with another occupant of the home, ran from authorities but were caught and arrested. Mata-Lopez had two ounces of methamphetamine, packaged into two one-ounce baggies, in his shirt pocket, according to the news release.

Police found 475 grams of actual methamphetamine in the house, part of which Mata-Lopez had agreed to distribute to Garza. Garza admitted that he intended to re-sell the meth. Detectives also recovered firearms, scales, and drug distribution paraphernalia in the home.

The news release said that the partnership goal of the law enforcement agencies is to federally prosecute serious drug trafficking, firearm, and violent crime, focusing on persistent offenders.

“This case demonstrates the valuable benefit of the collaboration between Minidoka County Prosecutors Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Eastern Idaho Partnership SAUSA, and the Mini-Cassia Drug Task Force in helping to successfully prosecute criminals and protect the citizens of our community,” Minidoka County Prosecuting Attorney Lance Stevenson said in the statement.

Davis added: “We are continually proud to have such a productive working relationship with our Eastern Idaho Partners and the State of Idaho’s Department of Correction. This case demonstrates what we can achieve by combining smart tactics with dedicated support from the community, law enforcement, and political leaders.”

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