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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced in Fentanyl Trafficking Case

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

Walter J. O’Donohue, III, sentenced for role in drug-related overdoses

Council Bluffs, IA – On February 27, 2018, Walter J. O’Donohue, III, age 35, of Omaha, Neb., was sentenced to 15 years in prison, fined $50,000, and ordered to serve five years of supervised release following his prison term by United States District Court Senior Judge James Gritzner for Conspiracy to Distribute a Fentanyl Analogue that caused death or serious bodily injury, announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum.

O’Donohue was part of a drug trafficking organization responsible for receiving and distributing fentanyl analogues obtained from a source in China to individuals in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. The investigation began on June 28, 2015, when law enforcement officers were called to a Carter Lake, Iowa, residence regarding an unresponsive male. Law enforcement found the body of a 20-year old deceased male at the home. Law enforcement also discovered a second male had been transported to a local hospital, and placed on life support, from the same location prior to law enforcement’s arrival.

Subsequent investigation revealed co-defendant Charles Beuterbaugh provided acetyl fentanyl to both victims, which was determined to be the cause of death and the reason for the hospitalization. Beuterbaugh had obtained the acetyl fentanyl through an organization that began distributing fentanyl, or an analogue of fentanyl, in November of 2014 and continued to distribute into April of 2016. Further investigation into the overdose death revealed O’Donohue was responsible for the importation of the acetyl fentanyl ultimately distributed by co-defendant Beuterbaugh.

All members involved in the distribution of the acetyl fentanyl have entered guilty pleas. On October 26, 2017, Senior Judge Gritzner sentenced O’Donohue’s co-defendants, Dustin C. Sullivan, age 27, of Council Bluffs, to 162 months and Cody Lanus, age 31 of Omaha, Neb., to a term of imprisonment of 144 months. Michael David Redmond, Jr., who joined the conspiracy in December of 2015, was previously sentenced by Senior Judge Gritzner to 120 months in prison. Amalia N. Pandis is pending sentencing at a future date.

This investigation was conducted by the Carter Lake Police Department, Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, Council Bluffs Police Department, Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, Omaha Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotic Enforcement, United States Postal Inspection Service and United States Drug Enforcement Administration-Nebraska. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Rachel J. Scherle

Updated March 2, 2018

Drug Trafficking