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Press Release

Three Cass County Residents Sentenced for Distributing Fentanyl Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death

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

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA –Three Cass County (Iowa) residents were sentenced on May 16, 2023 for conspiring to distribute fentanyl causing serious bodily injury or death.

Cam Christopher Jahnke, 33, was sentenced to 193 months in prison. Chase Daniel Jahnke, 29, was sentenced to 204 months in prison. Kelsi Thurman, 27, was sentenced to 156 months in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

According to court documents, each defendant plead guilty to agreeing to obtaining fentanyl pills from sources in Omaha, Nebraska, and selling those pills in and around Cass County, Iowa. The investigation determined that between August 2019 and June 2022, the group obtained and distributed over 10,000 pills containing fentanyl. Fentanyl distributed by the group caused two fentanyl overdose deaths.

Two additional co-defendants, Colby Clarken, 20, and Collin Clarken, 25, have also plead guilty to the same charge of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl causing serious bodily injury or death. Both are scheduled to be sentenced in August 2023.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa stated the convictions disrupted a major source of supply of fentanyl in Western Iowa and was accomplished through the cooperation of numerous law enforcement agencies. Agencies involved in this investigation included the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Atlantic Police Department, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force (SWINE) Task Force, Council Bluffs Police Department, Iowa Division of Intelligence, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Crime Lab, United States Postal Inspection Service, and Omaha Police Department.

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 May 19, 2023

Drug Trafficking