A man responsible for distributing pounds of ice methamphetamine and sending the proceeds back to Mexico was convicted by a jury on March 23, 2017, after a two-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.
Aldo Omar Lopez Martinez, 22, from Marshalltown, Iowa, was convicted of conspiring to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine and conspiring to commit money laundering. The verdict was returned yesterday afternoon following about two hours of jury deliberations.
The evidence at trial showed that Lopez Martinez arrived in Marshalltown from Mexico in 2015, and began distributing ice methamphetamine to a network of individuals in Marshalltown, Des Moines, and Waterloo, Iowa. Lopez Martinez received multiple pound quantities of ice methamphetamine from a source of supply in Mexico, remanufactured the ice methamphetamine in Marshalltown, and then distributed the drugs throughout Iowa. Lopez Martinez typically distributed ice methamphetamine in ½ pound to multiple pound quantities. His customers paid him in cash, which he then wired back to Mexico in order to obtain more drugs. On May 5, 2016, police searched Lopez Martinez’s residence and seized approximately $93,000 and over three pounds of 98% pure methamphetamine. Based on the amount of money and its packaging, investigators testified that members of the conspiracy intended to transport the money out of state by hiding it in a car, also known as bulk cash smuggling. In connection with this investigation, police executed 28 related search warrants on May 5, 2016, and seized a total of $250,000 and over six pounds of methamphetamine. To date, 20 individuals have been convicted of criminal charges stemming from this drug conspiracy.
Sentencing before Chief United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Lopez Martinez was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the verdict was returned and will remain in custody pending sentencing. Lopez Martinez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison, a $10,000,000 fine, $200 in special assessments, and a lifetime of supervised release following any imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa C. Williams and was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of Federal Bureau of Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force (Waterloo Police Department; Cedar Falls Police Department; Waverly Police Department; Bremer County Sheriff’s Office; Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office; LaPorte City Police Department; Evansdale Police Department; Hudson Police Department), Mid Iowa Drug Task Force (Marshalltown Police Department; Marshall County Sheriff’s Office; Tama County), Dubuque Drug Task Force (Dubuque Police Department; Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office).