Eight Defendants Plead Guilty to Drug Trafficking Charges, Agree to Over $360,000 in Forfeitures
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Eight defendants have pled guilty to drug trafficking charges in federal court in Cedar Rapids.
Kyle Chyma, age 28, Edgar Hernandez, age 30, Kelbie Struve, age 24, Kailyn Struve, age 25, and Marlene Hernandez, age 24, all of Toledo, Iowa, Scott Steuhm, age 24, and Tyler Walz, age 22, both of Tama, Iowa, and Alejandra Castillo-Hernandez, age 45, of Marshalltown, Iowa, pled guilty to taking part in a drug trafficking conspiracy.
In September 2016, all eight defendants were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. At plea hearings this month, Chyma, Edgar Hernandez, Steuhm, Kelbie Struve, Kailyn Struve, Marlene Hernandez, and Alejandra Castillo-Hernandez admitted to trafficking in methamphetamine. Chyma, Kailyn Struve, and Walz admitted to trafficking in cocaine. Chyma also admitted to engaging in a money laundering conspiracy.
The indictment also contained a forfeiture allegation. As part of their guilty pleas, the eight defendants agreed to forfeit up to $360,027.19 in drug proceeds.
Chyma, Edgar Hernandez, and Steuhm face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum term of life imprisonment. Kelbie Struve, Kailyn Struve, Marlene Hernandez, and Alejandra Castillo-Hernandez face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a maximum term of 40 years’ imprisonment. Walz faces a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment.
Sentencing hearings before Chief United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after presentence reports are prepared. All eight defendants are being held in the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ravi T. Narayan and investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with support from the Marshalltown Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Tama County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Marion Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa City Police Department, Johnson County Drug Task Force, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 16-CR-76.
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Updated April 7, 2017