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Another Guilty Plea in Norteno Investigation

By David Amoruso / Department of Justice

Nortenos gang member Richard Lobato (51) of Nampa, Idaho, pleaded guilty on September 1 in United States District Court to distributing methamphetamine.  Lobato was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 15, 2014.

According to the plea agreement, Lobato admitted that he distributed methamphetamine to a confidential informant on two occasions.  On October 9, 2013, Lobato and another person sold approximately one-quarter of an ounce of methamphetamine to the informant.  On October 23, 2013, Lobato sold another one-quarter of an ounce of methamphetamine to the informant.

Lobato was charged as a result of an investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, which focused on the “Norteno” Northside gang that is active in Nampa and other parts of the Treasure Valley.  Fourteen individuals were indicted on drug and gun charges as a result of the investigation. To date, seven defendants have been sentenced. 

Lobato faces a minimum term of five years and a maximum term of forty years behind bars. Many of his codefendants who pleaded guilty to the same charge received a sentence varying between 24 and 60 months. Lobato is scheduled to be sentenced on November 19, 2015, by Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.

These cases are the result of a joint investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). 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.

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