Lars Larson Show: Criminal Alien of the Week Report

May 23, 2024

By David Olen Cross

The “Lars Larson Show: Criminal Alien of the Week Report” in the third full week of May 2024 has for your radio listeners and webpage followers a report on two identified Mexican national senior citizens who have been charged, convicted and sentenced for drug trafficking crimes in a U.S. District Court in the state of Idaho.
Some background information, on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho (USAODI), issued a news release titled “Elderly Ontario Couple Sentenced to Federal Prison for Trafficking Methamphetamine in Idaho” who the subjects of interest were identified as Efren Avilez-Lopez (U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho Case Number: 1:23-CR-00153-DCN-I) and Maria Medina-Zeveda (Case Number: 1:23-CR-00153-DCN-I):
Here are extended excerpts from USAODI’s February 14, 2024 news release on Efren Avilez-Lopez and Maria Medina-Zeveda:

“BOISE – Efren Avilez-Lopez, 81, and Maria Medina-Zeveda, 70, husband and wife, and both Mexican nationals illegally living in Ontario, Oregon, were sentenced for trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine in Idaho, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

On February 12, 2024, Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye sentenced Avilez-Lopez to nine years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. On February 13, 2024, Chief Judge Nye sentenced Medina-Zeveda to 37 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Both Avilez-Lopez and Medina-Zeveda were ordered to serve three years of supervised release. Both will be deported after completing their sentences.

According to court records, on April 15, 2023, Avilez-Lopez and Medina-Zeveda sold an undercover officer five pounds of methamphetamine in a Nampa store parking lot. On April 25, 2023, they both sold an undercover officer 20 pounds of methamphetamine in a Nampa store parking lot.

Then on May 12, 2023, Avilez-Lopez and Medina-Zeveda drove from Ontario to Los Angeles, to pick up a large load of methamphetamine.  On their way home, they were stopped by law enforcement in Owyhee County, where it was discovered they were transporting four family members, including a minor child. A dog, which was trained and certified to detect the odor of illegal drugs, alerted on the vehicle and when officers searched the vehicle, they located twenty-one pounds of methamphetamine in the floorboards.” . . .

“This case highlights the incredible working relationships among our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in and around the Treasure Valley,” said Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue. “It also shows that the illicit drug trade — inherently operated by Transcontinental Criminal Organizations like the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartels — knows no bounds. These individuals are not what the average person would think of when they hear the term drug dealer. This was a couple in their 70s and 80s who bought and sold extremely high quantities of methamphetamine, endangering countless lives, including those of their own family.” . . .

“This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Nampa Police Department, the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Probation and Parole, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, the Caldwell Police Department, the City-County Narcotics Unit, the Idaho State Police, the Oregon State Police, the Ontario Police Department, the Owyhee County Prosecutor’s Office, and the High Desert Drug Task Force in Oregon. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Nafzger prosecuted the case.” – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

Some historical background information, on Monday, August 21, 2023 the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho (USAODI), issued a news release titled “Local Task Forces Crack Down on Methamphetamine and Fentanyl Distribution Networks” where two of the subjects of interest were identified as being Efren Avilez-Lopez and Maria Medina-Zeveda.

Here are extended excerpts from USAODI’s August 21, 2023 news release that includes Efren Avilez-Lopez and Maria Medina-Zeveda:

Multi-State Investigations Result in Federal Charges Against 25 Defendants on Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

BOISE – Two multi-faceted, large-scale Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigations have resulted in the federal indictments of 25 defendants on drug trafficking and firearms charges, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today. Seventeen indictments were issued over the last several months by federal grand juries sitting in Idaho along with an additional indictment in the District of Oregon.

According to the indictments, the defendants distributed large amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl throughout Southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Many of the individuals are alleged to have been in possession of firearms at the time they distributed the narcotics.” . . .

“As part of these two OCDETF investigations, the following individuals have been charged with federal drug and gun violations:” . . .

• Efren Avilez-Lopez, residing in Ontario, Oregon, was indicted for distributing 25 pounds of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 21 pounds of methamphetamine;

• Maria Medina-Zeveda, residing in Ontario, Oregon, was indicted for distributing 35 pounds of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 21 pounds of methamphetamine;” . . .

“Drug distribution charges carry mandatory minimum prison sentences depending on the amount and type of drugs distributed. Maximum prison sentences range from up to 20 years to life in prison. Unlawful possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison.” . . .

“The cases were primarily investigated by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, which is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. In addition to the work of the Metro Violent Crimes Task Force and the DEA, U.S. Attorney Hurwit thanked the following agencies for assisting in the investigations and arrests of the above named individuals: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Caldwell Police Department, City and County Narcotics Unit, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, the Nampa Police Department, the Gem County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho State Police, Idaho Department of Correction, the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office, the Owyhee County Prosecutors Office, the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICEEnforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), 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’s Office for the District of Idaho.

An important fact to understand, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), through ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) take on important roles in managing immigration enforcement and the federal government’s law enforcement anti-drug trafficking mission.

Seeking detailed information on the historical immigration status Efren Avilez-Lopez and Maria Medina-Zeveda on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 the “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” contacted via e-mail U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Public Affairs national office and ICE Public Affairs office for the Northwest Region which encompasses the states of Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

As of Thursday, May 23, 2024 neither the ICE Public Affairs national office nor ICE Public Affairs office for the Northwest Region had yet responded to the “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” request for investigations and statements on Efren Avilez-Lopez and Maria Medina-Zeveda.

On May 23, 2024 Efren Avilez-Lopez and Maria Medina-Zeveda were incarcerated as inmates at two separate locations in the U.S. Federal Bureau Prisons (BOP) prison system:

Efren Avilez-Lopez (BOP: Register Number: 64035-510) was incarcerated at SeaTac FDC located in Seattle, Washington.

Maria Medina-Zeveda (BOP: Register Number: 63984-510) was incarcerated at Hazelton FCI located in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia.

Mexican nationals Efren Avilez-Lopez and Maria Medina-Zeveda are now amongst more than 12-thousand Mexican nationals incarcerated in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) prison system.

Lars, the third full week of May 2024 and another “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” for Lars Larson Show KXL FM 101.1 Pacific Northwest radio listeners and website followers.

David Olen Cross (docfnc) is a reporter on foreign national crime. He is a more than decade long contributor to the “Lars Larson Show: Criminal Alien of the Week Report.” His past crime reporting can be found at http://docfnc.wordpress.com/.

https://docfnc.wordpress.com/2024/05/23/lars-larson-show-criminal-alien-of-the-week-report-356/

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