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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Driving Force in Conspiracy to Distribute Meth Brought to Iowa in Car Part Boxes Sentenced to 30 Years’ in Prison

Also Obstructed Justice by Threatening Witnesses

A man who conspired with others to distribute ice methamphetamine was sentenced yesterday to 30 years’ in federal prison.

Robert Lewis, age 44, from Janesville, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 22, 2018, jury verdict finding him guilty of conspiracy to distribute at least 500 grams of a mixture of methamphetamine and 50 grams of actual methamphetamine.

The evidence at trial showed that in the summer of 2013, Lewis began working with various individuals to distribute ice methamphetamine throughout the Waterloo area.  Lewis and his associates obtained methamphetamine from an out-of-state source of supply who shipped the methamphetamine via FedEx concealed in car part boxes.  Each shipment contained multiple pounds of methamphetamine which Lewis and others would break down into smaller quantities for redistribution once it arrived in Iowa.  Lewis also used his daughter to register a car for the head of the drug organization and allowed other members of the conspiracy access to his home, referred to at trial as the “clubhouse,” for the purpose of repackaging and distributing methamphetamine.  Lewis left Iowa in the fall of 2013, but continued to receive methamphetamine from his co-conspirators.  In January 2014, one co-conspirator attempted to send Lewis methamphetamine hidden in a Hamburger Skillet prepared meal box.  FedEx employees flagged the package as suspicious and investigators ultimately seized ¼ ounce of methamphetamine from the inside of the box.

The evidence at sentencing showed that after trial, Lewis obstructed justice by threatening and intimidating multiple individuals who testified as witnesses at the trial.  This included telling one witness that he “was a dead man.” 

Lewis was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Lewis was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Lewis 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 Lisa C. Williams 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force (Waterloo Police Department; Cedar Falls Police Department; Waverly Police Department; Bremer County Sheriff’s Office; Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office; LaPorte City Police Department; Evansdale Police Department; Hudson Police Department). 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 17-CR-2084.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated July 10, 2019