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Press Release

Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Coates, who had a prior drug conviction, attempted to dispose of meth while fleeing law enforcement

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine pleaded guilty on September 13, 2022, in federal court in Sioux City.

Dustin Coates, 36, from Cherokee, Iowa, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  In 2013, Coates was previously convicted of distribution of a controlled substance in the United States District Court for South Dakota.

At the plea hearing, Coates admitted his involvement in a conspiracy that distributed at least 150 grams of pure methamphetamine from March 2021, through March 8, 2022. On March 8, 2022, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle Coates was driving.  Coates threw two baggies of methamphetamine from his person while attempting to flee the traffic stop on foot.  Coates admitted at the hearing that he planned to distribute the 60+ grams of methamphetamine to other persons.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Coates remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Due to his prior conviction for distribution of controlled substances, Coates faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $20,000,000 fine, and at least 10 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kraig R. Hamit and was investigated by 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 22-4027.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated September 13, 2022

Drug Trafficking