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Press Release

Repeat Offender Sentenced to Prison Following Third Drug Related Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Found with more than a half-pound of methamphetamine

A man with a prior federal drug conviction was sentenced May 25, 2022 to five years in federal prison.

Gary Alan Happel, age 60, from Ladora, Iowa, received the prison term after an October 15, 2021 guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

At the guilty plea, Happel admitted that, in January 2021, he was in possession of methamphetamine that he intended to distribute to others.  Happel was driving a vehicle and was stopped for speeding.  Officers recovered over a half pound of methamphetamine on his person.  Happel has a prior federal conviction from 1997 for conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and a conviction in 2010 for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance in Utah. 

Happel was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Happel was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment and fined $20,000.  He must also serve a ten-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Happel 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 Emily K. Nydle and investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Iowa State Patrol, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21-cr-37.

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Updated May 26, 2022

Drug Trafficking