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Press Release

Man Driving Around with Knife and Large Amount of Methamphetamine Sentenced to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Cops later found guns and more drugs at his residence

A Cedar Rapids man who intended to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced December 17, 2019, to more than three years in federal prison. 

Mathew John Wharton, age 28, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a July 1, 2019, guilty plea to distribution with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, methamphetamine. 

At the guilty plea and sentencing, Wharton admitted that in January of 2019, he was stopped by Cedar Rapids police officers during a traffic stop.  During the stop, Wharton had a knife on him and nearly an ounce of methamphetamine in his vehicle.  Defendant intended to sell the methamphetamine to other people.  In April 2019, officers executed a search warrant at Wharton’s Cedar Rapids residence.  There, they located methamphetamine, marijuana, paraphernalia, a Springfield shotgun, a Remington 1100 semi-automatic firearm, and ammunition.

Wharton’s residence was also the subject of a search warrant executed by Cedar Rapids police back in December of 2016.  During that search, officers located methamphetamine, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .410 gauge shotgun. 

Wharton was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Wharton was sentenced to 36 months’ and 28 days’ imprisonment.  A $100 special assessment was imposed.  He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Corkery and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Linn County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.   

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-CR-00038.

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Updated December 18, 2019

Drug Trafficking