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Press Release

Iowa Man Sentenced to 84 Months for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

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

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Dillan Boydston, 39, Waukon, Iowa was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 84 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Boydston pleaded guilty to this charge on July 20, 2022.   

During the course of a long-term, multi-agency investigation, law enforcement officers obtained evidence that Christopher Fernette, Carl Rabe, and Dillan Boydston  distributed significant amounts of methamphetamine in western Wisconsin.  Investigators also learned that Fernette purchased methamphetamine from multiple people, including a source-of-supply in Minnesota and an individual named Pa Yang.    

On April 3, 2021, investigators followed Fernette and Boydston as they crossed into Wisconsin from Minnesota.  When the car stopped at a tavern in Ferryville, a deputy from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office approached Fernette and asked for permission to pat him down for weapons.  Fernette consented to the pat down but attempted to hide a small plastic baggie in his hand.  When the deputy questioned Fernette about the object in his hand, Fernette tossed the baggie and became combative.  A fight ensued and the deputy eventually detained Fernette. 

After the altercation, the deputy located the baggie which contained a personal use amount of methamphetamine.  The deputy also found a discarded black canvass tool bag that contained approximately three pounds of methamphetamine.  The deputy used his canine partner to sniff the car that Fernette had been driving.  When the canine alerted, investigators searched the car and found $17,200 in cash.

During post-arrest interviews, Fernette and Boydston admitted that they traveled to Minnesota and purchased the three pounds of methamphetamine from Boydston’s source-of-supply.  Fernette told investigators that he and Boydston planned to split the methamphetamine with Rabe in Wisconsin.  Boydston also explained that he received methamphetamine as payment from Fernette for arranging the drug deals. 

On June 29, 2022, Judge Conley sentenced Fernette to 10 years in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  Judge Conley also ordered Fernette to forfeit the $17,200 found in the car. 

On October 20, 2021, an investigator from the Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force arrested Rabe after witnessing a drug transaction between Rabe and another person in Lancaster, Wisconsin.  The investigator searched Rabe’s car and found 425 grams of methamphetamine.  Rabe pleaded guilty in the Western District of Wisconsin to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  Judge Conley sentenced Rabe to 96 months in prison on July 20, 2022.

On February 18, 2021, officers in Onalaska, Wisconsin arrested Yang following a traffic stop where she admitted to possessing approximately 100 grams of methamphetamine.   Yang pleaded guilty in Western District of Wisconsin to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 17, 2022.

The charges against Boydston, Fernette, Rabe, and Yang were the result of an investigation conducted by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Prairie du Chien Police Department, Richland-Iowa-Grant Task Force, Dakota County (Minnesota) Drug Task Force, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Chadwick M. Elgersma is prosecuting this case. 

Updated November 3, 2022

Drug Trafficking