Pocatello man, 2 others plead guilty to federal gun and drug charges

Crime Watch

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The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

POCATELLO — The U.S. Attorney’s Office continued its district-wide focus on reducing violent crime last week with three separate defendants pleading guilty to drug or firearm offenses, U.S. Attorney Bart Davis announced.

In Pocatello, Marcus Tharpe, 36, of Pocatello, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Tharpe was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pocatello on June 27, 2017.

According to court records, on February 17, 2017, police received reports that Tharpe had threatened another man with a gun at his residence. Police responded and found Tharpe in his truck a short distance from the residence.

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On the floorboard of Tharpe’s truck, in plain view, police found an SKS semi-automatic rifle. The SKS rifle was within reach of Tharpe from the driver’s seat, and was loaded with 18 rounds. Tharpe is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law because of a felony conviction.

The charge for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. Sentencing is set for January 2, 2018, before U.S. District Judge David C. Nye at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

In separate cases in Boise, Garrett Holmes, 46, of Payette, and Jose A. Mouw, 45, of San Diego, California, pleaded guilty to distributing methamphetamine.

According to court records, Holmes distributed methamphetamine in Idaho and Oregon on several occasions between March 6, 2017, and May 18, 2017. Holmes arranged for and delivered methamphetamine in Payette County, Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon. Investigating officers discovered Holmes’s activities and were able to intervene and arrest him on May 18, 2017. Holmes was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boise on June 15, 2017.

Holmes’s sentencing is set for January 3, 2018, before Senior U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise. He faces imprisonment of not less than five years or more than forty, a term of supervised release of at least four years, and a maximum fine of $5,000,000.

According to court records, on two separate occasions in 2016, Jose Mouw transported methamphetamine from southern California to Idaho for distribution. On Mouw’s second trip to Idaho, officers in Twin Falls, Idaho, pulled him over and discovered 670 grams of pure methamphetamine in the trunk of his car. Mouw was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boise on November 8, 2016.

Based on the amount of methamphetamine involved and Mouw’s prior convictions for drug-related offenses, including felony possession of methamphetamine and drug trafficking, Mouw faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 20 years up to life in prison, a term of supervised release of at least ten years, and a maximum fine of $20,000,000. Mouw’s sentencing is set for November 14, 2017, before Senior U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.

Tharpe’s case was investigated by the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pocatello Police. It is being prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Eastern Idaho Partnership and the State of Idaho to bolster ongoing efforts to prosecute regional drug trafficking, gun and gang violence, internet based crimes against children, and other serious crimes with a federal nexus. The Eastern Idaho Partnership is a collaboration of elected officials and law enforcement from 13 counties and 18 cities across eastern Idaho, in partnership with the Idaho Department of Correction and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Holmes’s and Mouw’s cases were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, the Twin Falls Police Department, and the High Desert Task Force. The High Desert Task Force is a collaboration of law enforcement agencies from Payette County Sheriff’s Office, Payette City Police Department, Fruitland Police Department, Weiser Police Department, Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ontario Police Department.

Their cases were prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Board. The Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Board is a collaboration of local law enforcement drug task forces and prosecuting agencies dedicated to addressing regional drug trafficking organizations that operate in Ada, Canyon, and Malheur County.

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