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Federal Courthouse In Sioux City Kept Busy With Meth Cases

Sioux City, Iowa — The federal courthouse in Sioux City has been busy with methamphetamine cases recently. The US Attorney’s Office tells us one person has been sentenced for distribution in the Iowa Great Lakes area, and two in the Sioux City area. One person has been convicted of distribution of meth, and one has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute meth.

A Sioux City man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine has been found guilty by a jury after a four-day jury trial in federal court in Sioux City.

Melroy Johnson, Sr., 66, of Sioux City was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Evidence showed that he had two others travel to California to obtain meth and had meth mailed to Sioux City in 2017 and 2018 for distribution in this area. He awaits sentencing, which the US Attorney’s Office says could include up to life in prison and a fine of up to 28 million dollars.

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A woman who conspired to distribute methamphetamine in the Iowa Great Lakes Area has been sentenced to more than 5 years in federal prison.

The US Attorney’s Office says 45-year-old Ruby Blankenship of Brandon, South Dakota, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The US Attorney’s Office says evidence showed that Blankenship and others conspired to distribute more than 22 pounds of methamphetamine. Co-conspirators traveled to California, obtained 20 pounds of methamphetamine, which was brought back to Iowa, hidden in the gas tank of the vehicle for later distribution.

Blankenship was sentenced to 63 months — that’s over five years — in prison.

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A man that conspired to distribute methamphetamine and illegally possessed firearms pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Sioux City.

The US Attorney’s Office says 31-year-old Diego Ayala of Sioux City was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of prohibited person in possession of firearms.

Ayala admitted that he and others conspired to distribute at least 1500 grams of methamphetamine. Over the course of several weeks. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Ayala’s residence and seized methamphetamine, an unloaded 9mm handgun and a loaded AR-15 rifle. Law enforcement also seized over 270 rounds of various ammunition.

Sentencing will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Ayala could face a combined total of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $15,250,000.

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A Sioux City couple faces over two years in prison after they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The US Attorney’s Office says 36-year-old Desiree Fredrickson and 41-year-old Shawn Hofer of Sioux City were involved in a conspiracy that distributed more than 6.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, receiving pounds of meth via the mail from a local meth dealer. Later they were receivers/distributors of several 5-pound packages of methamphetamine, plus some cocaine and marijuana in a drugs-by-mail scheme led locally with a California source of supply.

Fredrickson was sentenced to 28 months in prison and Hofer was sentenced to 35 months in prison.

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