Ten Individuals Sentenced in Des Moines Methamphetamine Conspiracy
DES MOINES, IA - On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, the last of ten defendants from the Des Moines, Iowa, area was sentenced on federal drug trafficking charges announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Andres “Andy” Gomez, III, age 26, of Altoona, Iowa, was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. District Judge John A. Jarvey also ordered Gomez to serve a term of four years supervised release following the period of imprisonment. The other nine defendants were previously sentenced for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine following their guilty pleas. 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 defendant was also ordered to pay a special assessment to the crime victim’s fund.
This organization was responsible for the distribution of highly pure methamphetamine in the Des Moines area from at least 2009 through 2012. The investigation culminated in the execution of multiple search and arrest warrants in December 2012. 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, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Des Moines, Iowa, Police Department, the Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, the Iowa Division of Intelligence, the Iowa National Guard Counter-Drug Unit, the Iowa State Fire Marshals, the Iowa State Patrol, the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force and Urbandale, Iowa, Police Department. This case was prosecuted in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.