Largest Meth Manufacturing Network Ever Prosecuted in Northern District of Iowa

United States Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth announced the dismantling of a large-scale Sioux City meth manufacturing ring supplied by pseudoephedrine “smurfing.” Twenty-three defendants have been convicted and, as of this morning, 16 of them have been sentenced to terms ranging from over 23 years to 2½ years in federal prison. Seven defendants remain to be sentenced.

At the center of the conspiracy was ANTHONY GRENIER, age 46, from Sioux City, Iowa, who was the meth “cook.” He made pure methamphetamine almost daily for about 8 months with pseudoephedrine pills supplied to him by 25 to 30 other people. These people “smurfed” the pseudoephedrine, that is, they engaged in small individual purchases of pseudoephedrine in order to supply the larger needs of the conspiracy. Some of the 25 to 30 had others who “smurfed” for them.

“This is the largest meth manufacturing ring ever prosecuted federally in the Northern District of Iowa in terms of the number of defendants involved,” said Dummermuth. “After Iowa’s 2005 law made it harder for meth cooks to get the pseudoephedrine needed to make meth, there was a huge reduction in homemade meth. However, because of pseudoephedrine smurfing conspiracies like this one, we’re seeing meth production increase again. We hope prosecutions like this one will help put an end to the return of meth labs to Iowa.”

“Homemade meth production is on the rise again because law enforcement has made it harder for dealers to obtain imported methamphetamine,” said Woodbury County Sheriff Glenn Parrett. “Prices have gone up and quality has gone down, resulting in people turning to making their own. This prosecution is an example of a coordinated law enforcement effort to attack the meth problem here at home.”

“Methamphetamine use and its resulting manufacture create other crime problems, hazardous waste sites expensive to clean up, and threats to children and other innocent people near places where meth is made,” said Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young. “With the increase in meth labs comes an increase in law enforcement attention to these kinds of cases. Federal law really puts some teeth in these prosecutions.

GRENIER and ANGELA WALTERS, age 33, both of Sioux City, received their prison terms after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to manufacture more than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine. JOSHUA BROWN, age 27, LIBBY DICKES, age 30, JOHN PROVOST, age 39, NATHAN DEWALL, age 21, SCHAUNA CARSON, age 36, and JOEY JOHNSON, age 33, all of Sioux City, and JONATHAN BUSH, age 23 of Salix, Iowa, received their prison terms after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to manufacture more than 5 grams of actual methamphetamine. JON STOLPE, age 40, KELLY SACHAU, age 25, JANELLE BERTHA BROWN, age 24, WILLIAM DIBLE, age 56, and RONALD LEWISON, age 31, all of Sioux City, received their prison terms after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine.

GRENIER’s co-defendants participated in the process in various ways. DEWALL obtained pills and used others to obtain pseudoephedrine pills he later provided to GRENIER. DEWALL did “perimeter checks” while GRENIER made meth and obtained anhydrous and other items needed for the manufacture of methamphetamine. DICKES obtained pills and helped to obtain anhydrous on at least one occasion. SACHAU, LEWIS, DIBLE, WALTERS, PROVOST, JOSHUA BROWN, JANELLE BROWN, CARSON, BUSH and JOHNSON all provided pills directly or indirectly to GRENIER in exchange for finished methamphetamine, and STOLPE provided pills to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Each of the defendants in the conspiracy was aware GRENIER was manufacturing meth and each helped in the operation.

SACHAU, LEWISON, and DIBLE were sentenced April 27, 2009. PROVOST, JOSHUA BROWN, JANELLE BROWN, CARSON, GRENIER, STOLPE, BUSH, JOHNSON, DEWALL, and DICKES were sentenced April 28, 2009. WALTERS was sentenced April 29, 2009. All were sentenced in United States District Court in Sioux City, Iowa, by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.

The sentences were as follows:

GREINER – 274 months’ imprisonment and 10 years’ supervised release
SACHAU – 57 months’ imprisonment and 6 years’ supervised release
LEWISON – 70 months’ imprisonment and 3 years’ supervised release
DIBLE – 91 months’ imprisonment; $12,500 fine and 3 years’ supervised release
PROVOST – 150 months’ imprisonment and 4 years’ supervised release
JOSHUA BROWN – 102 months’ imprisonment and 8 years’ supervised release
JANELLE BROWN – 57 months’ imprisonment and 3 years’ supervised release
CARSON – 60 months’ imprisonment and 4 years’ supervised release
STOLPE – 41 months’ imprisonment and 6 years’ supervised release
BUSH – 37 months’ imprisonment and 5 years’ supervised release
JOHNSON – 90 months’ imprisonment and 8 years’ supervised release
DEWALL – 108 months’ imprisonment and 4 years’ supervised release
DICKES – 59 months’ imprisonment and 4 years’ supervised release
WALTERS – 85 months’ imprisonment and 5 years’ supervised release

There is no parole in the federal system. All were ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

GRENIER was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in July 2002 in Story County, Iowa; SACHAU was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in November 2006 in Dakota County, Nebraska; STOLPE was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in August 1991 in Woodbury County, Iowa; JOHNSON was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in March 2007 in Woodbury County, Iowa; and JOSHUA BROWN was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in November 2003 in Monona County, Iowa.

MICHAEL BREAMAN and JAMIE WEBSTER were sentenced on March 23, 2009, for their roles in this conspiracy. BREAMAN, age 44, from Sioux City, was sentenced to 278 months’ imprisonment and 10 years’ supervised release. WEBSTER, age 19, from Sioux City, was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment and 3 years’ supervised release. Seven additional defendants (KRIS ANDERSON, age 30, from South Sioux City, DEB FABER, age 47, from South Sioux City, CHARLES FOX, age 32, from Sioux City, MICHAEL KLUGE, age 38, from Sioux City, SHAIN MALLOY, age 39, from Sioux City, JERAMIE FREDERICK, age 32, from Sioux City, and SCOTT TAYLOR, age 33, from Sioux City,) have either pled guilty or were convicted at trial and are awaiting sentencing. KLUGE, who was convicted at trial, faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jack Lammers and was investigated by the Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, which consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sioux City, Iowa, Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department; South Sioux City, Nebraska, Police Department; Nebraska State Patrol; Iowa National Guard; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; United States Marshals Service; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and Woodbury County Attorney’s Office.

Source: Press Release, April 29, 2009 , United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Iowa

 

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