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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
Previously convicted of a serious drug offense in 2015

Jesse Chavez, 43, from Sioux City, Iowa, pled guilty June 28, 2022, in federal court in Sioux City, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  In 2015, Chavez was convicted of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Iowa District Court.

At the plea hearing, Chavez admitted that between September 2021 and December 2021, he was involved in a conspiracy that distributed over a pound of meth in the Sioux City area.  On December 14, 2021, Sioux City Police officers observed suspicious conduct by Chavez in the Walgreens parking lot and inside the store.  Officers confronted Chavez, obtained consent to search his vehicle, and seized three ounces of methamphetamine.  Chavez would obtain multiple ounce quantities of methamphetamine from his sources of supply and then sell lesser quantities of the methamphetamine to others.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Chavez remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  On Count 1, Chavez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and on Count 2, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.  Chavez faces a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $28,000,000 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 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 22-4009. 

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Updated June 29, 2022

Drug Trafficking