Anthony John Austin, 27 years-old, and a documented member of a Boise street gang will serve 101 months in federal prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Using a Firearm in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime, U.S. Attorney Tom Moss announced on Thursday.

            Austin was indicted on February 13, 2008, after an extensive investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Boise City Police Department’s Gang Unit.

            Austin pleaded guilty in federal court to the above listed crimes on July 7, 2008.  He was sentenced on Thursday, October 2, 2008, by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the Federal Courthouse in Boise.

            Austin had no prior felony record, but the combination of guns, drugs and gang activity resulted in a lengthy prison sentence.  Because Austin used a firearm in connection with his drug trafficking activities, federal law mandated a five-year prison sentence, which must be served consecutive to his drug sentence.  There is no parole in federal court, and Austin will serve his entire prison sentence.  After serving 101 months in federal prison, he will serve five years on supervised release, during which he may have no contact with any gang member.

            Because there are no federal prisons in Idaho, Austin will serve his sentence in another state.  Treasure Valley law enforcement agencies are hopeful that Austin’s sentence will send a message to gang members that any illegal use of a firearm will result in lengthy prison sentences outside the state of Idaho.

            Austin’s case was prosecuted by the Special Assistant United States Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partners to combat gang related crime in the Treasure Valley.  His prosecution was part of Idaho’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Anti-Gang programs, designed to reduce gun violence in the state.