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Press Release

Man Sentenced to Over 17 Years in Federal Prison for Selling Methamphetamine Near School

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Used Guns to Facilitate His Drug Sales

A Cedar Rapids man who sold methamphetamine from his home near Wilson Middle School was sentenced on June 12, 2018, to more than 17 years in federal prison.

Daniel Wayne Melsha, age 26, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a February 22, 2018 guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine within 1,000 of a school and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Evidence at the sentencing hearing showed that Melsha lived in a residence in Cedar Rapids, which was within 1,000 feet of Wilson Middle School.  On September 28 and October 4, 2017, Melsha sold another person a half an ounce of methamphetamine at Melsha’s home.  On October 5, 2017, police investigators executed a search warrant at Melsha’s residence, where they found over 70 grams of “ice” methamphetamine and 41 guns, including revolvers, semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns.  Police arrested Melsha the same day.

On October 10, 2017, Melsha was released pending trial and ordered to wear a GPS-monitoring bracelet on his ankle to monitor his location.  Melsha cut off the GPS monitoring bracelet in November and failed to appear for a hearing on his case.  On January 16, 2018, the United States Marshals Service found Melsha hiding out in a camper, parked within a barn in Fairfax, Iowa.

Melsha was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Melsha was sentenced to 211 months’ imprisonment and must also serve an eight-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Melsha 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 Ravi T. Narayan and Special Assistant United States Attorney Drew O. Inman and investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Muscatine County Drug Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service.

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-CR-86-LRR.

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Updated June 18, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses