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Date: 06-13-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Jonathan Joseph Monaco; Eric Charles Weimer; Jason Lou Gneiting

Case Number: 4:23-cr-00139

Judge: B. Lynn Winmill

Court: The United States District Court for the District of Idaho (Bannock County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office in Pocatello

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description:


Pocatello, Idaho criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendants charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine and Fentanyl

Three East Idaho Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Trafficking Methamphetamine and Fentanyl




“Curtailing fentanyl and methamphetamine trafficking is a top priority for us in Eastern Idaho and throughout the state,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “I am thankful to our law enforcement partners who investigated these cases and helped to dismantle these trafficking operations. We will continue to support this important work and make sure that drug traffickers face the justice that they deserve.”

On February 4, 2023, Jonathan Joseph Monaco, age 43, of Pocatello, and his wife (co-defendant Helen Monaco, 38, who was sentenced to over 15 years in federal prison) were traveling from California to Idaho – where they resided – when their vehicle was stopped by law enforcement in Washoe County, Nevada. Law enforcement initially found 65 grams of methamphetamine in the vehicle along with fentanyl, marijuana, and a digital scale. Monaco and his wife were arrested and booked into the Washoe County Jail. While in jail, law enforcement obtained a search warrant to re-search the vehicle and found an additional 4,000 fentanyl pills, and over two pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a void behind the spare tire.

Investigators gathered additional evidence that Monaco, his wife, and co-defendant Weimer were all working together in the distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl in southeast Idaho, and elsewhere. According to court records, on February 5, 2023, Weimer, was traveling from Idaho to Montana when his vehicle was stopped by law enforcement in Montana. Law enforcement found 453 grams of methamphetamine in the vehicle along with 87 grams of fentanyl.

“Illicit drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are not only dangerous but cause deep, painful harm to individuals, families and communities," said Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha of the Salt Lake City FBI. “These cases are indicative of the success that can be achieved when agencies work together to put drug traffickers out of business and in prison. We will not tolerate the trafficking of illicit drugs in our communities.”

Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Monaco and Weimer be placed on supervised release for five years following their prison sentences.

In a separate case, on June 12, 2024, Jason Lou Gneiting, 45, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced to 7.5 years in federal prison for trafficking methamphetamine. According to court records, on May 23, 2022, following a year-long narcotics investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Gneiting’s residence and recovered over 15 pounds of methamphetamine.

Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Gneiting to be placed on supervised release for five years following his prison sentence.

“The ripple effects from drug trafficking harms everyone, devastating communities by fueling violence, addiction, and crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in the Pacific Northwest. “Our federal, state, and local law enforcement partnerships allow us a way to keep drug traffickers from endangering people across Idaho.”

The Monaco and Weimer case was investigated by the FBI, the Idaho State Police, the BADGES/HIDTA Taskforce, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada, and the Montana Highway Patrol. The Gneiting case was investigated by the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho Falls Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho Falls, and the Idaho State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Paskett prosecuted both cases.

The BADGES Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that focuses primarily on drug trafficking crimes in Bannock County and throughout the region.

Outcome:

Defendant was found guilty and sentenced as follows-

Jonathan Joseph Monaco was sentenced to over 15 years in federal prison

Eric Charles Weimer was sentenced to 6.5 years in federal prison

Jason Lou Gneiting was sentenced to 7.5 years in federal prison

Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Gneiting to be placed on supervised release for five years following his prison sentence.

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Defendant's Experts:

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