Sentences Issued in Des Moines Methamphetamine Investigation
DES MOINES, IA B United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt announced that nine individuals from the Des Moines, Iowa metro area have been sentenced on federal drug trafficking charges. Following the execution of multiple search and arrest warrants in December 2012, ten individuals were charged in the Southern District of Iowa with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and other substantive drug offenses, including: Juan Carlos Hernandez Gonzalez, Miguel Bazan Cardenas, Bertoldo Zuniga, Azael Bernal Balderas, Ubaldo Carrasco Alcantar, Josue Castaneira Cruz, Andres “Andy” Gomez, III, Gabriel Carrasco, Beverly Ann Hickcox and Danny Lee Iseminger. All ten of these individuals pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
The following nine individuals were sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Jarvey on January 22 and 23, 2014:
• Juan Carlos Hernandez Gonzalez, age 33 of Des Moines, was sentenced to 300 months imprisonment and ordered to serve a term of 5 years supervised release following imprisonment.
• Miguel Bazan Cardenas, age 36 of Des Moines, was sentenced to 90 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release.
• Bertoldo Zuniga, age 60 of Des Moines, was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release.
• Azael Bernal Balderas, age 31 of Des Moines, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release.
• Ubaldo Carrasco Alcantar, age 46 of Des Moines, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release.
• Josue Castaneira Cruz, age 34 of Des Moines, was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release.
• Gabriel Carrasco, age 32 of Des Moines, was sentenced to time served and was also ordered to serve 3 years supervised release with special conditions of 4 months in a residential facility followed by 4 months house arrest.
• Beverly Ann Hickcox, age 61 of Des Moines, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release.
• Danny Lee Iseminger, age 54 of Newton, was sentenced to 104 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release.
Each of the above defendants also was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the crime victim’s fund.
The remaining defendant, Andres “Andy” Gomez, III, age 25 of Bondurant, Iowa, is scheduled to be sentenced April 30, 2014, at the United States Courthouse in Des Moines.
This investigation focused on the distribution of multiple-ounce quantities of extremely pure methamphetamine in the Des Moines area. The organization received shipments of 30 pounds of methamphetamine at a time that originated from Mexico. Bulk cash shipments of drug proceeds were sent to Mexico by the organization, which was headed in the Des Moines area by Juan Carlos Hernandez Gonzalez. During the searches conducted in December 2012, agents seized 1.9 kilograms of 100% pure methamphetamine, $117,749 in drug proceeds and 17 firearms. Other properties, including a vehicle and residence, were also seized and forfeited as a result of the investigation.
The case was the result of the multiple-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF Program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
Agencies involved in this case included the: Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Des Moines Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations; Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations; Iowa Division of Intelligence; Iowa National Guard Counter-Drug Unit; Iowa State Fire Marshals; Iowa State Patrol; Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force and Urbandale Police Department.
This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa.