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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Possession of Firearms and Methamphetamine Leads to More Than 22 Years in Prison

Loaded handgun found next to large amount of “ice” methamphetamine

A man who was found lying in a field in the possession of a loaded handgun and over 500 grams of ice methamphetamine was sentenced today to more than 22 years in federal prison.

Troy Postel-Vargason, age 36, from Independence, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 27, 2017, guilty plea to four separate drug and gun related crimes.  Specifically, Postel-Vargason pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking felony, and two separate counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Postel-Vargason was found by police officers in February 2017, lying in a field near his home in Independence and holding a bag that contained the methamphetamine.  A loaded 9mm handgun was found on the ground.  The serial number on the handgun was obliterated but was later restored by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) laboratory.  The gun had been reported stolen.  At the guilty plea, Postel-Vargason admitted he intended to distribute the ice methamphetamine and that he possessed multiple firearms, including the loaded 9mm handgun.  He also admitted that, in August 2017, he possessed a Ruger 9mm pistol in the Southern District of Iowa.  Postel-Vargason agreed to transfer that case to the Northern District of Iowa, in Cedar Rapids, so that he could be sentenced on all four charges at the same time. 

Postel-Vargason was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Postel-Vargason was sentenced to 270 months’ imprisonment and must serve a 10-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Postel-Vargason 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 Justin Lightfoot and investigated by the Independence Police Department, the Tri-County Drug Task Force, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and a Federal Task Force composed of the Waterloo Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), assisted by the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar Falls Police Department.

The Southern District of Iowa case was investigated by the Iowa State Patrol, the FBI, and the LeClaire Police Department.

Court file information is at

The case file numbers are 17-MJ-127 (criminal complaint); 17-CR-2023 (Northern District of Iowa case); and 17-CR-2086 (Southern District of Iowa case).

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Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated May 31, 2018