Skip to main content
Press Release

Cass County Residents Sentenced to Prison for Distribution of Controlled Substances

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

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum announced on July 16, 2019, Mary Mayo, age 50, Tony Martin Mayo Jr., age 34, Jessica Lynn Gross, age 31, and Alex Lee Pleis, age 25, were sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge John A. Jarvey for Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone. Mary Mayo was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment to be followed by 48 months of supervised release. Tony Martin Mayo was sentenced to 12 months in prison followed by 36 months of supervised release. Jessica Lynn Gross was sentenced to time served and 60 months of supervised release. Alex Lee Pleis was sentenced to time served and 36 months of supervised release.

In late August of 2015, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration received information regarding the illegal distribution of prescription drugs in and around Cass County, Iowa. Using a confidential informant, the DEA determined Mary Mayo obtained prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and other controlled substances from medical professionals through false representations of injury or illness and related pain management. Mary Mayo then used her Medicare/Medicaid benefits to obtain controlled substances from local pharmacies. She also obtained oxycodone from a co-defendant, Rebecca Canfield.

Once the prescription drugs were obtained, Mary Mayo negotiated a price for the pills with a known buyer. If an agreement was reached, Mary Mayo had a member of her family deliver or assist in the delivery of the controlled substances. During the yearlong investigation, DEA arranged the purchase of oxycodone and hydrocodone from Mary Mayo and the pills were delivered to a DEA agent, who was working in an undercover capacity. With the exception of Rebecca Canfield, all co-defendants are members of Mary Mayo’s family.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined Mary Mayo was receiving Social Security benefits she was not entitled to. As part of her sentence, Mary Mayo was ordered to pay restitution to Medicare/Medicaid, and the Social Security Administration.

The case was investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration; United States Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General; Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; United States Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General; Cass County Sheriff’s Office; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; and the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Rachel J. Scherle

Updated July 17, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs