U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit, along with the Nampa Police Department, the Caldwell Police Department, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, recently released the above public service announcement about rising violent crime in Canyon County. The PSA highlights the work of the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of FBI agents, sheriff deputies, and police officers and works directly with prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office as well as the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office. In the PSA, U.S. Attorney Hurwit also explains that convictions for federal crimes generally mean tougher sentences and no parole.

“Our mission is public safety. This means eliminating violent crime in every single neighborhood,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “My office always prioritizes prosecuting those who, through their violent acts, show no regard for the safety of others. This mission is critical in Canyon County, and I hope this PSA will encourage community members to work with law enforcement to address this threat to us all.”

“To help ensure safety in Canyon County, we must work together with our law enforcement partners and community members,” said Joe Huff, Nampa Chief of Police. “One of our core values at the Nampa Police Department is teamwork and we practice it every day in many ways to include crime prevention and in solving crimes.”

“Crime knows no borders and we are better together,” said Rex R. Ingram, Caldwell Chief of Police. “We are unified in numbers with a common goal of keeping Idaho a safe place for people to live, work and play.”

“The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office was a founding member of the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes and Gang Task Force when it first began back in 2005. In the last 18 years, the Task Force has been a vital tool in our fight against violent criminals, gangs, and transcontinental criminal organizations (TCOs) like the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartels in the Treasure Valley,” said Kieran Donahue, Canyon County Sheriff. “To date, this partnership between local and federal law enforcement agencies has led to over 600 indictments and taken hundreds of violent criminals off our streets. But our work is far from over. We must continue to be vigilant in our pursuit of violent criminals, gang members, and TCOs, who in addition to committing violent crimes, distribute unprecedented amounts of dangerous drugs like methamphetamine and fentanyl to our residents. These people have no place in our community.”

The FBI and Canyon County law enforcement report an increase in gang-related shootings and drive-by shootings in the recent months. Law enforcement is also seeing an increase in possession of firearms by prohibited individuals in Canyon County. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has made prosecution of crimes involving violent offenders a top priority. From previous years, the office projects an approximate 50% increase in prosecutions of individuals stemming from Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force investigations.

The Task Force focuses on local violent crime and gang activity and is comprised of federal, state, and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Caldwell Police Department; Canyon County Sheriff’s Office; and the Idaho Department of Correction.

The following recent federal cases illustrate the Task Force’s work:

  • Isaac Bright, 29, of Nampa. Bright was a documented member of Latin Kings gang with an extensive criminal history. On January 29, 2022, a police officer with the Wilder Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Bright. Bright failed to stop, resulting in a high-speed pursuit. Bright was eventually arrested after discharging a firearm at the officer. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and was sentenced on February 14, 2023 to ten years in federal prison.
  • Jordan Khan, 27, of Washington. Khan moved to the Treasure Valley in 2021, after being released from Washington state prison for unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and taking a vehicle without permission. He has an extensive criminal history. On January 27, 2022, United States Marshals were searching for a wanted fugitive believed to be at Khan’s residence. During the search, Khan was found in possession of a .40 caliber pistol and trafficking amounts of fentanyl. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and was sentenced on March 14, 2023, to 98 months in federal prison.
  • Steven Thornhill, 41, of Nampa. On January 12, 2022, Thornhill was arrested by officers with the Nampa Police Department. Thornhill had methamphetamine and a firearm in his possession. He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced on March 20, 2023, to 80 months in federal prison. Thornhill had an extensive criminal history including prior convictions for unlawfully possessing firearms and burglary. At the time of the instant offense, Thornhill was still on probation for two burglary convictions.

In addition to the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, the Wilder Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service participated in these cases. These cases were prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes. The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southwest Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth. For more information, visit www.treasurevalleypartners.org.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit expressed his gratitude to all the law enforcement agencies who support the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force and to the individual prosecutors and task force investigators who are achieving justice through their hard work and professionalism.

Anyone with information about violent crime or illegal activity can call (208) 344-7843.