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Press Release

Hiawatha Search Warrant Results In Federal Prison Sentences

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

Two men associated with a Hiawatha, Iowa residence that contained over 330 pounds of marijuana, four loaded firearms, and over $37,000 in cash, were sentenced to federal prison today.

Kenny Emilio Salguero, 29, and Kenneth Stepter, 20, received the prison terms following guilty pleas on June 5 and June 6, respectively, to conspiracy to distribute marijuana.  Salguero was sentenced to over 11 years in federal prison.  Stepter received a sentence of over 7 years.

Information disclosed at the plea and sentencing hearings indicated that Salguero and Stepter each admitted agreeing with others to distribute large quantities of marijuana, including “high grade” marijuana.  Drug ledgers seized at the residence during the execution of a March 26, 2013 search warrant showed that several loads of marijuana had been received at both the Hiawatha residence and a Cedar Rapids warehouse that was leased by Salguero.  According to the ledgers, Salguero profited from some of these loads, earning $13,000 from one shipment alone.  Four loaded firearms were seized in the residence, along with over 330 pounds of marijuana and $37,503 in bundled cash.  One of the firearms was located in close proximity to Stepter, who was the only person present at the time of the search.  The evidence also showed that Stepter encouraged a minor to become involved in the marijuana distribution activities.            

Salguero and Stepter were each sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Salguero was sentenced to 135 months’ imprisonment.  Stepter received a sentence of 87 months’ imprisonment.  Both were ordered to pay special assessments of $100, and will be required to serve 4-year terms of supervised release after their prison terms.  There is no parole in the federal system.

            Salguero and Stepter are both 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 Justin Lightfoot, and was investigated by the Hiawatha Police Department and the Cedar Rapids Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force, which consists of DEA; Linn County Sheriff's Office; Cedar Rapids Police Department; Marion Police Department; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services’ and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Court file information is available at  The case file number is CR 13-23.

Updated February 19, 2015