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Justice News

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Felon and Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Meth Distribution

A felon who conspired to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced March 29, 2016, to 15 years in federal prison.

Israel Grimaldo 26, from Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after a December 21, 2015, guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Grimaldo was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in Woodbury County, Iowa, on August 28, 2008.

Evidence presented at the guilty plea and sentencing hearings revealed that Grimaldo was involved in a conspiracy from about January 2013 through January 2014 that distributed at least 50 grams of pure methamphetamine.  During and in relation to this conspiracy, defendant repeatedly obtained, possessed, and re-distributed methamphetamine. For example, he did so on both November 25, 2013 (distributing 7 grams of methamphetamine while armed with a firearm) and December 2, 2013 (distributing 3.5 grams of methamphetamine in a city park) among other times.

In furtherance of his illegal drug trafficking activities, defendant possessed firearms to intimidate his drug customers, guard himself, protect his illegal drugs and drug proceeds, and even rob individuals with whom he had drug disputes. For example, on November 25, 2013, defendant possessed a firearm in his waistband while involved in the 7 gram meth deal previously described, and on December 13, 2013 defendant participated in the robbery of a man (in the presence of a child) in connection with an illegal drug dispute. After the robbery, defendant and an accomplice fled from Iowa into Nebraska where they were later captured.

Grimaldo was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Grimaldo was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve an eight-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

Court file information at 

The case file number is 14-4068.

The case was investigated by the Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration , Sioux City, Iowa Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HIS); Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; South Sioux City, Nebraska,  Police Department; Nebraska State Patrol; Iowa National Guard; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; United States Marshals Service; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and Woodbury County Attorney’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

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Drug Trafficking
Updated May 23, 2016