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Press Release

California Man Sentenced to Prison for Drug Charge and Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A California man who distributed pure methamphetamine in Iowa and laundered some of the proceeds to a Mexican bank account was sentenced February 22, 2016, to 22 years in federal prison.

Jesus Lizarraga, age 34, from Yucaipa, California, received the prison term after a November 2, 2015, guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of pure methamphetamine and one count of money laundering.

At the guilty plea, Lizarraga admitted he recruited individuals from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to assist in the distribution of over 11 kilograms (5 pounds) of pure methamphetamine.  Lizarraga gave the Iowans methamphetamine in Cedar Falls, Omaha, Nebraska, and in California to distribute in the Cedar Falls area.  Lizarraga laundered some of the proceeds from drug sales by directing others to wire the money from Iowa to a Mexican bank account.

Lizarraga was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Lizarraga was sentenced to 264 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $200 was imposed.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Lizarraga is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Tri-County Drug Task Force, comprised of the Waterloo Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Falls Police Department.

Court file information at 

The case file number is 15-CR-2027.

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Updated February 25, 2016

Drug Trafficking