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Press Release

Denison, Iowa Man to Federal Prison for Meth Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Conspiracy spanned Northwest Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced on June 25, 2020, to more than 10 years in federal prison.

Juan Lopez-Zuniga, 50, from Denison, Iowa, was convicted by a jury on February 7, 2020, after a 3 day trial in federal court, of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  The verdict was returned following about 3 hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Lopez-Zuniga was involved in a conspiracy that distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine from October 2015 through September 2016, from the Denison, Iowa, area.  Evidence showed that Lopez-Zuniga conducted runs from Denison, Iowa, to Worthington, Minnesota, delivering half-pound quantities of methamphetamine to a co-conspirator for further re-distribution in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. Lopez-Zuniga would then return to Denison with the proceeds of drug sales. 

Sentencing was held before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Lopez-Zuniga was sentenced to 127 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 5 year term of supervised release following the imprisonment.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Lopez-Zuniga is being held in the custody of the United States Marshal until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated 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 Drug Enforcement Administration; Iowa Department of Narcotics Enforcement; Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; Buffalo Ridge Task Force (Worthington/ Nobles County, Minnesota); and the Internal Revenue Service. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-4009.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated June 26, 2020

Drug Trafficking