A Bellevue man found guilty by a jury of one felony count of delivery of methamphetamine has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, with a minimum of three and a half years to be served before he’s eligible for release.
Raul Amado-Duarte, 27, sat before a jury for three days in February and was found guilty of selling $1,300 of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in October.
The informant worked with the Narcotics Enforcement Team, or NET, a multi-agency force made up of law enforcement from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, the Sun Valley Police Department, the Ketchum Division of the Sheriff’s Office and the Idaho State Police. According to his testimony, he met Amado-Duarte at their place of work—a landscaping company in the valley, on Oct. 4.
Based on his testimony during the trial, the confidential informant started a conversation with Amado-Duarte that led to his asking Amado-Duarte if he used meth. He said yes and added he could get a large quantity of the drug if the informant wanted.
During his sentencing hearing on May 6, prosecuting attorney Matt Fredback alleged that this controlled buy, which took place outside a gas station in Bellevue, pointed to a large-scale operation going on in the valley, based on the travel that Amado-Duarte had to make to retrieve the drugs.
According to a series of text messages between Amado-Duarte and the confidential informant, Amado-Duarte drove from Blaine County to Richfield and then to Dietrich to retrieve the drugs before returning to do the sale in Bellevue. According to Fredback, Amado-Duarte also bragged that he could get as much as half a pound of methamphetamine, again pointing to a bigger operation of drug trafficking.
Fifth District Judge Jonathan Brody followed the prosecutor’s recommendations for sentencing loosely, sentencing Amado-Duarte to a fixed sentence of three and half years, and an indeterminate sentence of six and a half years if parole is not granted. After his prison sentence, Amado-Duarte will likely be deported back to Mexico, due to an immigration hold.
“Make the right choices, wherever you are, going forward,” Brody told Amado-Duarte after handing down the sentence.
Beyond the prison time, the defendant was ordered to pay $10,000 in fines along with over $3,000 in restitution to the state for lab and investigation costs.