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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
Torres had three previous convictions for drug trafficking before his involvement in distributing over nine pounds of meth in the Sioux City area.

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine pled guilty on February 18, 2021, in federal court, in Sioux City, Iowa.

Hugo Arechiga Torres, 39, from Sioux City, Iowa, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Torres was previously convicted three times in South Dakota, for serious felony drug trafficking offenses, including a federal case in 2014.

At the plea hearing, Torres admitted that between December 2019 and August 2020, he and others distributed at least 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in the Sioux City area.  During two separate controlled operations in August 2020, law enforcement used a confidential informant to purchase more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine from Torres.  Later, upon his arrest in August 2020, officers seized $754 from Torres, including five $100 bills that were found to be pre-serialized money provided to Torres in a controlled methamphetamine purchase, as part of a drug debt payment. 

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Torres remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Torres faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $20,000,000 fine, and at least 10 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by 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 20-4067.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated February 25, 2021

Drug Trafficking