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Posted on: March 7, 2022

Several Arrests, Major Drug Seizures Made in Three Day Period

From March 4 to 6, IIFPD Officers arrested 16 people for drug and other relevant offenses in 6 separate incidents. A total of 1034 fentanyl pills, 1.85 pounds methamphetamine, 5 firearms, and other illegal items were taken off of Idaho Falls streets.

Between Friday, March 4, and Sunday, March 6, Idaho Falls Police Officers arrested 16 people for drug and other relevant offenses in six separate incidents. In that time, a total of 1034 fentanyl pills, 1.85 pounds (842.35 grams) methamphetamine, 10.25 pounds (4650.5 grams) marijuana, 30 ml heroin, 18 grams amphetamines, 5 firearms, and $21,241 in cash were seized and taken off Idaho Falls streets. 

Information regarding each of the respective incidents is included below. 

On March 4, 2022, shortly after 2:00 a.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer on active patrol in the area of 1100 Utah Avenue performed a traffic stop on a vehicle for equipment violations.

Officers determined that the driver, Alex Martinez, had an outstanding Felony Bingham County Warrant. One of the passengers, Gabriel Ramirez, had an outstanding Misdemeanor Madison County Warrant. 

During the stop, a Bonneville County K-9 Deputy responded and performed a free air sniff of the vehicle and the K-9 gave a positive indication of the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. 

During a search of the vehicle and occupants Officers found that the third person in the vehicle, Mariela Murrieta, was in possession of five (5) fentanyl pills (commonly referred to as “dirty thirties” and drug paraphernalia. 

Alex Martinez, a 19-year-old Idaho Falls resident, and Gabriel Ramirez, a 28-year-old Idaho Falls resident were each booked into the Bonneville County Jail on their outstanding warrants. Mariela Murrieta was arrested for Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail. 

On March 4, 2022, shortly after 6:00 a.m., Idaho Falls Police Officers and Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies performed a traffic stop on a vehicle near 3330 S Yellowstone Hwy. Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and found a total of 379.95 grams of methamphetamine, 35.5 grams of marijuana, and multiple items of drug paraphernalia. 

Based on the locations of ownership of the various items, all three occupants of the vehicle were arrested and taken to the Bonneville County Jail for the following offenses:

  • Serena Cagle, a 48-year old resident of Lostine, Oregon, was arrested for Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, Felony Drug-Trafficking in Methamphetamine, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 
  • Angela Hernandez, a 39-year-old resident of Porterville, California, was arrested for Felony Drug-Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance (Marijuana), and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 
  • Michael Espinoza, a 40-year-old resident of Porterville, California, was arrested for Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, Felony Drug-Trafficking in Methamphetamine, and Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance (Marijuana). When Espinoza was booked into the jail he was found to be in possession of an additional small amount of methamphetamine and was subsequently booked on an additional offense for Felony Introduction of Major Contraband into a Correctional Facility.

On March 4, 2022, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Idaho Falls Police Officers and Bonneville County Deputies served a search warrant at a resident in the 300 block of Emery Lane as part of a combined IFPD and BCSO Special Investigations operation. 

While serving the search warrant, investigators detained Makayla Moss, Jessica Baler, and Melissa Carey who were all inside the residence at the time. Inside the residence, investigator seized 4615 grams (approximately 10 pounds) of marijuana, 330 grams of methamphetamine, approximately 1,000 fentanyl pills, multiple firearms, and a ledger detailing the sale of illegal substances. 

While serving the search warrant, a vehicle with additional residents of the house in question returned to the residence and was promptly stopped by investigators. Due to the nature of the investigation, investigators performed a felony stop on the vehicle and directed the occupants out of the vehicle at gunpoint. Each of the occupants complied with orders from officers and were detained without incident. 

The occupants of the vehicle were Dustin Chase, Jesse Mendoza, and Anthony Rider. All three individuals were detained at that time. Rider was found in possession of drug paraphernalia, 2.4 grams of methamphetamine, and 18 grams of amphetamines. 

Mendoza was found in possession of 19 fentanyl pills, 130 grams of methamphetamine, a pistol, and $21,241 in cash. 

Based on the information from the investigation, the location and determined ownership of the various items and illegal substances all six individuals were arrested and booked into the Bonneville County Jail for the following offenses: 

  • Makayla Moss, a 21-year-old resident of New Plymouth, Idaho, was arrested for Felony Drug Trafficking (Methamphetamine), Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver (Fentanyl), Felony Drug Trafficking (Marijuana). 
  • Jessica Baler, a 40-year-old resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was arrested for two counts of Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine and Fentanyl). 
  • Melissa Carey, a 35-year-old resident of Ontario, Oregon, was arrested for Felony Drug Trafficking (Methamphetamine). 
  • Dustin Chase, a 40-year-old resident of Caldwell, Idaho, was arrested for Felony Drug Trafficking (Marijuana), Felony Drug Trafficking (Methamphetamine), Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver (Fentanyl), Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and a Parole Violation. 
  • Anthony Rider, a 48-year-old male, was arrested for Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and a Felony Ada County Warrant. 
  • Jesse Mendoza, a 46-year-old resident of Portersville, California was arrested for Felony Drug Trafficking (Methamphetamine), Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl), and Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

On March 4, 2022, shortly before midnight, Idaho Falls Police Officers responded to a residence in the 1400 block of Vega Circle for a report of a domestic disturbance. When Officers arrived on scene, one of the individuals involved in the disturbance, Kari Kishiyama was attempting to leave the residence in a vehicle. Officers stopped Kishiyama and contacted the other person involved in the disturbance. 

Kishiyama provided an account of the disturbance to officers but did not have any injuries, markings, redness or other indicators consistent with Kishiyama’s account of the incident. The other person sustained multiple injuries including gouges and nail marks on their chest, face, neck, and arms, cuts on their face and nose, and a cut lip, which combined with other information on scene corroborated their account of the incident. 

While investigating this incident, an Idaho Falls Police K-9 Officer responded and conducted a free-air sniff of the vehicle that Kishiyama was stopped in. The K-9 positively indicated on the vehicle, signaling the presence of illegal substances inside the vehicle. A search of the vehicle yielded .6 grams of suspected fentanyl pills and drug paraphernalia. 

Kari Kishiyama, a 35-year-old female resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was arrested for Felony Domestic Battery with Traumatic Injury and a Felony Enhancement for Domestic Battery in the Presence of a Child, Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Kishiyama was booked into the Bonneville County Jail. 

On March 5, 2022, at approximately 1:30 a.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer was patrolling in the area of Broadway Street and performed a traffic stop on a vehicle for suspended registration. While conducting the traffic stop, an Idaho Falls Police K-9 Officer responded and conducted a free-air sniff of the vehicle and positively indicated, signaling the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. 

A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded a syringe located with 30 milliliters of a brown liquid substance which tested positive for heroin, drug paraphernalia, and an open container of an alcoholic beverage directly underneath the driver's seat. 

The driver, Deron Kennedy, a 38-year-old resident of Pocatello, Idaho, was arrested for Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Misdemeanor Possession of an Open Container and was booked in the Bonneville County Jail. 

On March 6, 2022, at approximately 10:00 p.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer was actively patrolling in the area of 1100 Lindsey Boulevard when they identified the passenger of a vehicle in the area as a person with an active warrant. The Officer made contact with the occupants of the vehicle and observed drug paraphernalia in plain sight.  

Ultimately, Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and found the driver to be in possession of 5 suspected fentanyl pills, a small amount of methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. The passenger was found to be in possession of four suspected fentanyl pills, and drug paraphernalia. 

The driver, Justin Houska, a 41-year-old resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was arrested for Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl), and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 

The passenger, Myti Beplate, a 28-year-old resident of Moscow, Idaho, was arrested for Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl), Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance, and an outstanding misdemeanor Bonneville County Warrant. 

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