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Press Release

Man Who Was a Fugitive for Over 13 Years Sentenced to More than 15 Years in Federal Prison

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

A man who absconded from federal pretrial release in 2003 for a federal drug charge in Iowa was sentenced on December 1, 2016, to more than 15 years in federal prison.

Ismael Sanchez-Acevedo, age 39, most recently from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, received the prison term after an August 18, 2016, guilty plea to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

At the guilty plea, Sanchez-Acevedo admitted that in February 2003 he drove from the state of Washington to Iowa with approximately 1 ½ pounds of methamphetamine for resale.  Sanchez-Acevedo admitted he hired another man, Kyle Meinecke, to drive him from Washington to Cedar Rapids.  Sanchez-Acevedo and Meinecke were found in a Cedar Rapids hotel room on February 3, 2003, after police received complaints of heavy foot traffic to their room.  A search of the room revealed over 700 grams of methamphetamine and $2,640 in cash. 

Court records reflect Sanchez-Acevedo was charged in federal court on February 7, 2003.  He was released to pretrial release on February 17, 2003, and absconded about 10 days later.  Court records reflect that Sanchez-Acevedo remained a fugitive until May 20, 2016, when he was arrested in Washington state by Border Patrol.  At sentencing, Sanchez-Acevedo said he absconded because he was scared, and that he first fled to California, and then later to Canada.  He stated he was returning to Washington in May 2016 to visit his ailing father.

Sanchez-Acevedo was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by Senior United States District Court Chief Judge Mark W. Bennett.  Sanchez-Acevedo was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Sanchez-Acevedo is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham and was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA; the Linn County Sheriff's Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; the Iowa City Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Court file information at

The case file number is 03-CR-00009-MWB.

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Updated December 7, 2016

Drug Trafficking