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Press Release

Wiretap Investigation Leads to Another Iowa Man Being Sent to Federal Prison

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

A Webster City man who ordered a pound ice methamphetamine from a man he met in state prison was sentenced November 29, 2022, to more than 15 years in federal prison.

Gabriel Allen Pelz, age 44, from Webster City, Iowa, received the prison term after a May 18, 2022 guilty plea to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of use of a communication facility to commit a felony drug crime.

Information disclosed at sentencing showed that Pelz met Andrew Surprenant while they were both incarcerated in state prison.  Pelz was released from state custody in December 2021, and, in early January 2022, Pelz contacted Surprenant and arranged to acquire a pound of ice methamphetamine from him.  At the time, law enforcement was monitoring a wiretap on Surprenant’s phone and intercepted the conversations between Pelz and Surprenant.  Law enforcement conducted surveillance of Surprenant’s residence and watched Pelz arrive at there.  After Pelz left, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of him and recovered a pound of ice methamphetamine from Pelz.  Pelz later admitted that he acquired the ice methamphetamine from Surprenant and intended to distribute it to others in the Webster City area. 

Pelz was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Pelz was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment, and he must also serve a six-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Andrew Surprenant previously pled guilty to his involvement with a Mexico‑based drug trafficking organization.  On October 21, 2022, Surprenant was sentenced to 396 months’ imprisonment. 

Pelz 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 Dillan Edwards and was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force consisting of the Waterloo Police Department, Cedar Falls Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Department, Evansdale Police Department, Waverly Police Department, Hudson Police Department, La Porte City Police Department, and the Bremer County Sheriff’s Department; the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and Homeland Security Investigations. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 22-CR-02017.

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Updated December 2, 2022

Topics
Drug Trafficking