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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 27, 2020

Manager of a Decade Long Marijuana Trafficking Operation Sentenced to Over Seven Years in Federal Prison

Brought Marijuana from California and Colorado into Iowa for Resale – Maintained Buildings in Cedar Rapids for Processing Marijuana into Edibles

The manager of a large-scale marijuana trafficking operation who brought marijuana into Iowa for resale for a decade was sentenced today to more than seven years in federal prison.

Andrew Shaw, age 31, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and being a drug user in possession of firearms.

Information at sentencing showed that Shaw started trafficking marijuana in 2010.  In 2017, Shaw started focusing his marijuana trafficking business on making and selling marijuana edibles and THC cartridges.  In March 2019, multiple law enforcement agencies searched various properties Shaw owned in Cedar Rapids.  In a commercial building on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids, law enforcement found large amounts of materials used to make marijuana gummies, a form of marijuana edible.  They also found large amounts of THC cartridges, which contain an oil made from marijuana that can be used in vape pens.  During a search of Shaw’s house, officers two firearms in close proximity to drug paraphernalia.  Shaw was also a drug user and admitted he unlawfully possessed these guns.  The court sentenced Shaw for distributing over 100 kilograms of marijuana.  The court also described Shaw as a manager or supervisor in a drug trafficking operation that involved five or more people.    

At sentencing, Shaw was also held responsible for making a credible threat of violence as part of his drug trafficking.  Shaw made threats against a man who was interfering with his drug trafficking operation.  Shaw told other people that he wanted this man “beat up,” “tuned up,” or assaulted. Two other men who previously sold marijuana they purchased from Shaw eventually confronted this man.  During the confrontation, the man was stabbed multiple times and died from his wounds.

Shaw was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Shaw was sentenced to 94 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a four-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Shaw 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 Anthony Morfitt and investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Marion Police Department, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 19-cr-46.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated March 30, 2020