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Press Release

Two Convicted of Drug and Firearm Charges After Mailing Fentanyl From Arizona to Iowa

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man who drove to Arizona several times to mail fentanyl pills to his co-conspirator in Sioux City, was convicted by a jury on March 1, 2024, after a 5-day trial in federal court in Sioux City.

Aki Awou, age 33, from Omaha, Nebraska, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, and two counts of possession with intent to distribute and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.  The verdict was returned following about 4 hours of jury deliberations.

On February 21, 2024, just prior to heading to trial, Awou’s co-conspirator, co-defendant, and brother, Karom Bol, age 20, of Sioux City, entered a guilty plea to five counts: conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, two counts of possession with intent to distribute and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession of firearms by a drug user, and possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Evidence in the case revealed that between January 2022 and May 2022, Awou traveled to the Phoenix, Arizona area, where he would mail packages containing thousands of fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone to Bol’s address’ in Sioux City, Iowa.  The Omaha Police Department’s Gang Intelligence Unit utilized a GPS tracker on Awou’s vehicle to pinpoint Awou’s travels and possible package locations, including at addresses in Sioux City and Post Offices in Arizona.  Postal Inspectors were able to intercept a package, and conduct a controlled delivery at one of the Sioux City addresses.  Afterwards, Postal Inspectors executed a search warrant.  During the search warrant, Bol was observed throwing firearms out a second story bedroom window.  During the search, agents identified a second location tied to Bol and Awou, and obtained a second search warrant for that residence.  Smaller quantities of additional illegal pills were found, as well as documents identifying Bol and Awou as the occupants of both Sioux City residences.

The day after the search warrants were executed, Postal Inspectors received notice of another package being sent from Arizona to the address in Sioux City.  The Postal Inspector was able to intercept that package as well before delivery, revealing that package also contained thousands of fentanyl pills.  Laboratory results subsequently revealed that Awou’s fingerprints were on three packages used as evidence in the case and Bol’s palm print was located on the package used during the controlled delivery.  Evidence also established Bol and Awou are known Trip Set gang members aka South Sudanese Soldier gang members.   

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Timothy T. Duax stated: “This was a great example of local law enforcement from Iowa and Nebraska working with federal law enforcement to stop fentanyl dealers in their tracks, and prevent thousands of fentanyl pills from hitting the streets.”

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Awou and Bol both remain in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. 

Awou and Bol face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and 5 years to life of supervised release following any imprisonment.  Bol must also serve a mandatory minimum and consecutive 5 years’ imprisonment for his possession of firearms during and in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. 

This case was investigated by the Omaha, Nebraska Police Department, Sioux City, Iowa Police Department, United States Postal Inspector, DEA Tri-State Drug Task Force, Lancaster County, Nebraska Sheriff’s Department, and the ATF.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons, Shawn Wehde, and Patrick Greenwood. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-4051.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated March 8, 2024

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Drug Trafficking