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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 9, 2015

Four Members Of Meth Conspiracy Sentenced To Federal Prison

Contact: Steve Young

Three men and one woman who conspired to distribute methamphetamine were sentenced to federal prison.

Three members of the conspiracy from Fort Dodge, Iowa - Robert Ackerman, 36; Shawn Owen, 37; Deidre Schlachter, 45; and Donald Smith, 42, from Huntington Beach, California, all plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

At their respective guilty plea hearings, each admitted their involvement in the conspiracy from about January 2009 and continuing through about December 2013 that distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in the Fort Dodge, Iowa, area.  Smith made arrangements to ship (mail) methamphetamine from California to Iowa to Owen, Schlachter, and Ackerman in exchange for cash being shipped (mailed) by Owens, Schlachter, and Ackerman to Smith in California. On April 25, 2013, law enforcement seized a Fed-Ex overnight envelope (in transit) from Smith to Schlachter.  The Fed-Ex package contained 10.44 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine.

The defendants were sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett.  Ackerman was sentenced to 35 months’ imprisonment; Owen was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment; Schlachter was sentenced to 33 months’ imprisonment; and Smith was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.  Each must pay a special assessment of $100.  Each must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

All defendants are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and investigated by the Iowa Department of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Fort Dodge Police Department, Webster City Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Office, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, and Iowa Falls Police Department. 

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov.  The case file number is 13-3055.

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Updated February 19, 2015