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Press Release

California Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Aranda-Moreno picked up large quantities of Mexican meth in California and transported the meth to Sioux City for distribution.

A California woman who traveled from California to Sioux City to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced July 30, 2021, to more than 10 years in federal prison.

Leslie Aranda-Moreno, age 27, from San Diego, California, received the prison term after a March 19, 2021, guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

In a plea agreement, Aranda-Moreno admitted that in January 2020, she conspired to distribute methamphetamine in the Northern District of Iowa, and elsewhere.

  On or about January 30, 2020, Homeland Security Investigations agents were contacted by officers from the Colorado State Patrol regarding a vehicle being driven by Aranda-Moreno that had been stopped and searched in Colorado.  The officers found the vehicle contained approximately seven (7) pounds of methamphetamine.  It was determined that Aranda-Moreno would pick up large quantities of methamphetamine from Mexico in California and drive them to Sioux City for distribution.

Aranda-Moreno was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Aranda-Moreno was sentenced to 122 months’ imprisonment.  She must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Aranda-Moreno is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until she can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office, and Colorado State Patrol. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-4056.

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Updated August 4, 2021

Drug Trafficking