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Press Release

Early, Iowa Woman Convicted Of Methamphetamine Conspiracy

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

A woman who conspired to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine was convicted by a jury May 16, 2013, after a three-day trial in federal court in Sioux City.

Shirley Schmitt, 54, from Early, Iowa, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. The verdict was returned following about three hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Schmitt conspired to manufacture and distribute 50 grams or more of actual (pure) methamphetamine from 2010 through July 2012. According to pseudoephedrine purchase logs obtained in the investigation, starting in July 2010 Schmitt acquired (by purchase or other means) at least 98 grams of pseudoephedrine for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Schmitt also had others obtain at least 400 grams of pseudoephedrine and other items for her to manufacture methamphetamine in exchange for methamphetamine. On June 28, 2012, Schmitt received pseudoephedrine from an undercover law enforcement officer and agreed to manufacture methamphetamine for the officer.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Donald E. O’Brien will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Schmitt remains free on bond previously set pending sentencing. On the conspiracy conviction, Schmitt faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, a special assessment of $100, and five years up to life of supervised release following any imprisonment. On the possession of pseudoephedrine conviction Schmitt faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a special assessment of $100, and up to three years of supervised release.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Sac County Sheriff’s Office, Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office, Storm Lake Police Department and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations.

Court file information is available at The case file number is 12-4076.

Updated February 19, 2015