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Press Release

Local Law Enforcement Officers Honored for Commitment to Drug Abuse Prevention

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

CEDAR RAPIDS - Three local police officers were honored today by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their commitment to reducing drug abuse in their communities.  The recipients of the 2015 Enrique S. Camarena Award are Detective Jerry Blomgren and Officer David Schwindt of the Iowa City Police Department, and Sergeant David Dostal of the Cedar Rapids Police Department.       

The award is named after Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was an 11 year veteran agent of the DEA before being kidnapped, brutally tortured and then murdered in Mexico in 1985 while working undercover gathering information and evidence about drug lords.  This award is presented each year to local law enforcement officers who best exemplify the qualities and principles for which Agent Camarena gave his life—specifically, making their communities a safer place to live through outstanding drug prevention and enforcement efforts.

Kevin W. Techau, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa commented on this year’s award recipients, stating, “The communities these officers serve are safer because of their hard work and dedication.  They richly deserve the honor of being this year’s award recipients.”

This year’s award recipients have gone above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of a drug-free community:

  • Recognizing the harm that synthetic drugs were having on the Iowa City area, Detective Jerry Blomgren and Officer David Schwindt worked with several law enforcement entities and utilized a variety of investigative techniques to remove over 100 pounds of synthetic drugs from the street.  They also participated in numerous community meetings providing education regarding the hazards of synthetic drugs.Through their efforts, synthetic drugs are now virtually non-existent in the Iowa City area.
  • As the supervisor of the Narcotics Division with the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Sgt. David Dostal has taken a leadership role in tackling the heroin problem that has plagued the Cedar Rapids community.  In addition to presenting at schools, community groups, and youth academies regarding the dangers of heroin and other illicit drugs, Sgt. Dostal took the lead in a high-profile heroin case that resulted in two federal indictments and which seriously disrupted the heroin drug trade in the Cedar Rapids area.

Michael J. Sanders, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the DEA commented on this year’s award, stating “It is an honor to be a part of such a well-deserved, distinguished award, presented in memory of fallen DEA Special Agent Enrique S. Camarena, who spent his career fighting against the powerful drug cartels in Mexico.  This eminent award exemplifies the outstanding investigative efforts of these three dedicated law enforcement officers in disrupting the illegal activities of these drug trafficking organizations and preventing the further distribution of these highly addictive, deadly drugs, in and around the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids communities.”

The Enrique S. Camarena Award is presented each year during Red Ribbon Week.  Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States.  This year, Red Ribbon Week runs from October 23 through October 31.

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Updated October 30, 2015

Office and Personnel Updates