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Press Release

Sioux City Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
After two prior convictions for distributing meth, Julio Salais was caught selling meth again. The sales took place near a Sioux City elementary school, and two other protected locations.

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine pled guilty August 6, 2019, in federal court in Sioux City.

Julio Cesar Salais, age 45, from Sioux City, Iowa, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distributing methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a protected location.  Salais was twice previously convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the Northern District of Iowa District Court in 1996 and 2002.

At the plea hearing, Salais admitted that from May 2018 through March 2019, he and others conspired to distribute more than 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in the Sioux City, Iowa area.  Salais further admitted that on two occasions he distributed more than 300 grams of pure methamphetamine to an individual cooperating with law enforcement.  These distributions occurred within the protected locations of Irving Elementary School, Sioux City Alternative School and Opportunities School at the Boys and Girls home in Sioux City. 

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Salais remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Salais faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $20,000,000 fine, and at least ten years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sioux City, Iowa, Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; South Sioux City, Nebraska, Police Department; Nebraska State Patrol; Iowa National Guard; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; United States Marshals Service; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and Woodbury County Attorney’s Office.   

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-4024.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated August 7, 2019

Drug Trafficking