Four Area Residents Get Federal Prison Time On Drug Charges

handcuffs - subject inSioux City, Iowa — Two Sanborn residents, a Hartley man, and a resident of Sioux City were sentenced Monday in federal court in Sioux City for Conspiracy To Distribute Methamphetamine.

37-year old Isaac Esquivel, and 30-year old Valerie Ortega, both of Sanborn, 49-year old Joe Leal of Hartley and 31-year old Mackenzie Jellema, of Sioux City, each received prison terms after guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

According to authorities, at the guilty pleas, each admitted their involvement in a conspiracy that distributed more than 50 grams of pure methamphetamine in the O’Brien County area.  In total, law enforcement reportedly made undercover purchases and seizures from the group totaling 271.78 grams of methamphetamine.

According to authorities Ortega and Esquivel were sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Donald E. O’Brien, and Leal and Jellema were sentenced by United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett. Esquivel was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment and a term of supervised release of two years. Jellema was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment; Leal was sentenced to 81 months’ imprisonment and Ortega was sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed for each. Jellema, Leal and Ortega must each also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and investigated by Iowa Department of Narcotics Enforcement, Spencer Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, Sheldon Police Department, Iowa Great Lakes Drug Task Force and the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force.

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