Skip to main content
Press Release

Fort Dodge Man to Federal Prison for Meth and Gun Convictions

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Guthrie possessed a number of guns, two of which he kept loaded near his drug stash.

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine while possessing guns was sentenced January 31, 2020, to more than 11 years in federal prison.

Matthew Guthrie, 34, from Fort Dodge, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 15, 2019, guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

At the guilty plea, Guthrie admitted that from January 2019 through April 16, 2019 he and others distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in the Fort Dodge area.  On three separate occasions Guthrie distributed a total of more than 100 grams of pure methamphetamine to an individual cooperating with law enforcement.  During a later search of Guthrie’s residence, law enforcement seized four guns (two of which were loaded), methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, scales, a drug ledger, and other items indicative of drug distribution. Law enforcement later seized two more guns in a consent search.

Guthrie was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Guthrie was sentenced to 135 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 4-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Guthrie is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Webster County Drug Task Force, Carroll County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa Division of Criminalistics Laboratory. For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and investigated by Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Webster County Drug Task Force, Carroll County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa Division of Criminalistics Laboratory.   

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-3019.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated February 3, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods