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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 4, 2022

Co-conspirators Sentenced for Drug and Firearm Offenses

United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Pablo Leyva, age 28, of South Sioux City, Nebraska, and Chrystian Townsley, age 34, of Sioux City, Iowa, were both sentenced today in federal court in Omaha for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl and for carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.  Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. sentenced Leyva to 20 years of imprisonment and sentenced Townsley to 15 years of imprisonment.  There is no parole in the federal system.  After completing their terms of imprisonment, both Leyva and Townsley will begin 5-year terms of supervised release. 

On March 8, 2020, Leyva, Townsley, and a female were traveling in a truck in Arizona on their way to Mexico to engage in drug trafficking.  They traveled through Nebraska on their way to Mexico and brought a Diamondback Arms, Inc., DB-15 rifle to facilitate the drug trafficking.  Officers in Arizona pulled them over as they traveled toward Mexico and took the rifle.  After the traffic stop, Leyva, Townsley, and the female continued traveling to Mexico.  During the next few days, Leyva, Townsley, and the female reached the Mexican border, entered Mexico to facilitate drug trafficking, left the truck in Mexico, and then re-entered the United States on foot.  After re-entering the United States, a female from Nebraska drove to Arizona to pick them up and began driving them back to the Nebraska area.  On March 14, 2020, in Liberal, Kansas, while driving back to the Nebraska area, an officer pulled them over and located 5 cellophane wrapped packages collectively containing about 4 pounds of methamphetamine and 65 fentanyl pills in the vehicle.  Leyva and Townsley were transporting the drugs in the vehicle to distribute them. 

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the United States Secret Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated March 7, 2022