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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced for a Drug Distribution Offense

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

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – An Omaha man was sentenced yesterday, April 18, 2023, to 168 months in prison following his plea of guilty to distribution of a controlled substance.

On January 12, 2021, the Council Bluffs Police and Council Bluffs Fire Departments were dispatched to a motel to provide medical treatment to an unresponsive victim, who ultimately died from a fentanyl overdose. Jason D. Hartzell, 22, distributed fentanyl pressed pills to the victim. Officers linked Hartzell to the fentanyl overdose death after reviewing phone information, social media information, surveillance footage, and conducting witness interviews. Hartzell must serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The Council Bluffs Police Department, Omaha Police Department, Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.

Fentanyl has become the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills often resemble pharmaceutical pills, but contain potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website to learn more about One Pill Can Kill.


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer 

Updated April 19, 2023

Drug Trafficking