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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Eight Individuals Sentenced for Trafficking Methamphetamine

Five men and three women responsible for distributing hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine were sentenced earlier this week to various federal prison terms.

Donita Urban, 47, from Evansdale, Iowa, received a 98-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Scott Mathews, 52, from Marshalltown, Iowa, received a 70-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Brian Swartz, 49, from Waterloo, Iowa, received a 132-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Rogelio Avalos-Sanchez, 23, from Marshalltown, Iowa, received a 59-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Jennifer Mares-Flores, 21, from Marshalltown, Iowa, received a 78-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Miguel Mendoza, 26, from Hampton, Iowa, received a 78-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Alvaro Hernandez, 31, from Marshalltown, Iowa, received a 113-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Frances Gasca, 26, from Lompoc, California, received a 103-month term of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Evidence at the guilty pleas and other court proceedings showed that in the Spring of 2013, Mario Murillo Mora began building a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing multiple pounds of ice methamphetamine, a highly pure, crystalized form of methamphetamine, throughout Northern Iowa.  The various members of the organization distributed at least 250 pounds of ice methamphetamine.  Murillo Mora recruited various individuals, including some of the individuals sentenced this week, to assist with transporting, storing, and distributing ice methamphetamine, as well as collecting money and wiring drug proceeds back to the sources of the ice methamphetamine.  Other individuals obtained ice methamphetamine from Murillo Mora in pound to multiple pound quantities for redistribution to a network of retail level customers.  The organization brought the methamphetamine to Marshalltown from Mexico and California concealed in vehicles.  Once in Marshalltown, the methamphetamine was broken down and repackaged for further distribution.   

All defendants were sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed on all defendants and they must also each serve a three to five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa C. Williams 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 (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA; the Linn County Sheriff's Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; the Iowa City Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; the Mid-Iowa Task Force, comprised of the Marshalltown Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Tama County Sheriff’s Office, Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Falls Police Department, Eldora Police Department and the Dysart Police Department; and the Tri-County Drug Task Force, comprised of the Waterloo Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Falls Police Department, LaPorte City Police Department, Hudson Police Department, Evansdale Police Department, University of Northern Iowa Police Department, Waverly Police Department and the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office. 

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

The case file number is 15-cr-2037.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated December 15, 2016