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Press Release

Dubuque Woman Becomes Third Person Sent To Federal Prison For Methamphetamine Lab That Caused House Fire

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

A woman who assisted in the manufacture of methamphetamine that caused a fire in a home she was renting was sentenced on March 15, 2013, to just less than six years in federal prison.

Dawn Richey, 36, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a December 7, 2012 guilty plea to aiding and abetting the attempted manufacture of methamphetamine near a school. Richey becomes the third person to serve federal prison time related to the incident.

Information from Richey’s guilty plea and sentencing revealed that Richey allowed Julie Uhrig, also of Dubuque, to manufacture methamphetamine in the basement of Richey’s residence on Windsor Avenue in Dubuque on February 15, 2012. Richey admitted that she assisted Uhrig in the manufacturing process. The attempted manufacture caused a fire to erupt in the residence. Richey’s minor child was present in the residence at the time. The residence was located within 1,000 feet of Audubon Elementary School.

Richey was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Richey was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed and she was ordered to make $142,062.41 in restitution to the owner of the Windsor residence that she had been renting. She must also serve a six-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

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

Two other individuals have also been sent to federal prison in connection with the February 15, 2012 incident. Uhrig pled guilty on September 11, 2012 to the attempted manufacture of methamphetamine near a school. She was sentenced on January 3, 2013 to 136 months’ imprisonment. Nickolas Clark, Richey’s fiancé at the time of the incident, pled guilty on September 24, 2012 to misprision of a felony as a result of false statements he intentionally made to investigators concerning the attempted manufacture. Clark was sentenced on January 16, 2013 to 33 months’ imprisonment.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lightfoot and investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force, the Dubuque Police Department, and the Dubuque Fire Department.

Court file information is available at The case file number for Richey is CR 12-1021. Uhrig’s case file number is CR 12-1014, and Clark’s case file number is CR 12-1019.

Updated February 19, 2015