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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Jury Convicts Man of Methamphetamine Conspiracy

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine was convicted by a jury May 22, 2015, after a 2 ½-day trial in federal court in Sioux City.

Jose W. Orellana, 42, from South Sioux City, Nebraska, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute 5 grams or more but less than 50 grams of actual (pure) methamphetamine.  The verdict was returned May 22, 2015, following about 3 ½ hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Orellana participated in a conspiracy that distributed methamphetamine in Sioux City, Iowa and South Sioux City, Nebraska.   Law enforcement officers collected evidence from September 2013 through May 13, 2014.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Orellana was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the verdict was returned and will remain in custody pending sentencing.  Orellana faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, a special assessment of $100, and four years up to life of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the 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 is available at  The case file number is 14-4046.

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Updated May 28, 2015