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Press Release

Colorado Man Convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

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

Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, a federal jury in Lincoln, Nebraska, convicted Jose O. Maes, 38, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture after a three-day trial presided over by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard. Prior to the beginning of the trial, Maes agreed that he had a prior conviction for a violent felony, first degree murder, from the state of Colorado.  As a result, he faces a potential sentence of 15 years to life imprisonment.  Sentencing is scheduled for March 22, 2023.

Testimony and evidence presented during the trial showed between June of 2020 and February 12, 2021, Maes became involved in a methamphetamine distribution organization which transported methamphetamine from the Colorado Springs area to the Lincoln and Omaha/Council Bluffs, Iowa areas.  Maes provided methamphetamine to Jeffry Hogan who drove it to Lincoln and sold it to Kelly Jablonski. Jablonski then sold the methamphetamine to persons in Lincoln, Omaha, and Council Bluffs.  She provided Hogan with cash from those sales and Hogan would then provide cash to Maes.  Multiple pounds of methamphetamine were distributed in this manner between the latter part of 2020 or early 2021 and February 12, 2022.

On February 11, 2022, investigators with the Lincoln/Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force followed Jablonski to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she was seen on Horseshoe Casino video meeting and gambling with Hogan.  Jablonski and Hogan later met Maes at the casino and all three went into the casino parking garage.  Hogan took a backpack containing methamphetamine out of Maes’s car, got into Jablonski’s Jeep, and both vehicles left the parking garage.  Investigators conducting surveillance saw the two vehicles meet again at a gas station a short distance away where witnesses testified Hogan provided cash to Maes. 

Later that evening, investigators saw Jablonski and Hogan leave an Omaha residence in separate vehicles.  Hogan followed Jablonski onto westbound Interstate 80 and both vehicles headed toward Lincoln.  Both vehicles were stopped by the Nebraska State Patrol for traffic violations and both vehicles were searched.  Approximately 3 ½ pounds of methamphetamine were found in Jablonski’s Jeep.  Hogan’s van had approximately ½ pound of methamphetamine, a number of fentanyl pills, two handguns and $5,000 in cash.  Both Jablonski and Hogan have since pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to this matter.  Jablonski was sentenced on November 3, 2022, to 97 months in prison. Hogan is awaiting sentencing.

As a result of these stops and searches, information was relayed to Iowa investigators indicating Maes was likely in possession of methamphetamine, cash and a firearm and was believed to have returned to the casinos in Council Bluffs.  Around 2:30 a.m. on February 12, 2022, an investigator from the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and a Council Bluffs Police Officer located Maes’s car in the Harrah’s Casino parking garage in Council Bluffs. The investigator attempted to contact Maes while the Council Bluffs officer attempted to block Maes from leaving the garage.  However, Maes drove around the Council Bluffs officer’s cruiser and out of the parking garage.  This resulted in a pursuit which ended approximately 30 miles away, on Iowa Highway 59 in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, in a rural area between Oakland and Carson.  That pursuit involved the Council Bluffs Police, Iowa Highway Patrol and Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department.  Pottawattamie County deputies used “stop sticks” which punctured the tires of Maes’s car and eventually resulted in the car stopping because it was no longer drivable.  Maes was arrested for fleeing from officers and an outstanding Colorado warrant for a parole violation related to his prior Colorado murder conviction.

Maes’s car was searched.  Investigators found approximately ¼ ounce of methamphetamine, a few fentanyl pills, a loaded handgun with an extended magazine and over $34,153 in cash.  That cash has since been forfeited to the United States of America by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

This case was investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Iowa Division of Intelligence, the Council Bluffs Police Department, the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department, the Iowa State Patrol, the Omaha Police Department, and FBI, with assistance from the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Crime Lab.


Susan Lehr - Chief, Drug Enforcement Unit (402) 661-3700

Updated December 2, 2022

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