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Press Release

California Woman to Federal Prison for Iowa Meth Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Payce was involved in the distribution of over 3 kilograms of meth from Nevada and California to Iowa

A woman who conspired to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced on October 25, 2023, in federal court in Sioux City.

Lauretta Payce, 62, from Fontana, California, pled guilty on June 16, 2023, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

At the plea and sentencing hearings, Payce admitted her involvement in a conspiracy that distributed at least three kilograms of methamphetamine from December 2019 through May 2022.  Payce further admitted to assisting at least six others in distributing about four pounds of methamphetamine and one pound of marijuana from California and Nevada which was transported in a hidden compartment in a vehicle, to Cherokee, Iowa, for further distribution. 

Sentencing was held before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Payce was sentenced to 64 months’ imprisonment and a term of two years’ supervised release following imprisonment.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Payce remains in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until she can be transported to a federal prison. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, United States Postal Inspectors, Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colorado State Patrol, Iowa DCI Laboratory, and Cherokee Police Department. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-4066.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated October 26, 2023

Drug Trafficking