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Press Release

Humboldt Man Sentenced for Meth Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Defendant, sentenced to a year in prison for meth distribution in 2015, was found with methamphetamine, a large amount of cash, and a loaded handgun shortly after his release.

A former federal inmate who distributed approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine while on federal supervised release was sentenced on May 29, 2018, to more than 14 years in federal prison.

Zachary Tew, 25, from Humboldt, Iowa, received the prison term after an April 13, 2017, guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Evidence at sentencing showed that in July 2015, Tew was sentenced to 12 months and a day in federal prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Upon his release from prison, Tew began a term of supervised release and almost immediately began violating the mandatory terms and conditions.  Then, in August 2016, after having been on supervised release for approximately six months, Tew failed to appear for a revocation proceeding and ceased all communication with his probation officer.  On November 7, 2016, approximately three months later, law enforcement apprehended Tew after a short pursuit and seized approximately 13 ounces of methamphetamine; $17,856; a handgun with loaded magazines; and boxes of ammunition.  Tew later admitted to having distributed approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine while on supervised release, possessing stolen firearms, and arranging to find a stash house that would store up to 150 pounds of methamphetamine.

Tew was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett.  Tew was sentenced to 170 months’ imprisonment.  This sentence must run partially consecutive to the 60 months’ imprisonment imposed for his violations while on supervised release.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ajay Alexander and investigated by DEA 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; 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. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-3004-MWB.

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Updated May 30, 2018

Drug Trafficking