Sioux County Man Pleads Guilty to Possession With Intent to Distribute Meth | USAO-NDIA

A man who possessed with intent to distribute methamphetamine pled guilty August 13, 2020, in federal court in Sioux City.

Ernesto Soto, 30, from Hawarden, Iowa, was convicted of one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. 

At the plea hearing Soto admitted that on February 5, 2020, Woodbury County, Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle Soto was traveling in. Upon conducting a probable cause search within the vehicle, law enforcement discovered approximately 34 grams methamphetamine, 1.6 grams cocaine, baggies, and a glass smoking device with residue located in a black bag that belonged to Soto.  The methamphetamine, cocaine, and baggies were concealed in a pop can with a false bottom.  At least 5 grams of the approximately 34 grams was actual (pure) methamphetamine.  In May 19, 2014, Soto was convicted in the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, of intent to manufacture/deliver methamphetamine under 5 grams. 

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Soto remains in custody of the United States Marshal and will remain in custody pending sentencing.  Soto faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, and at least 4 years up to life of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Patrick T. Greenwood and was investigated by Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sioux City, Iowa, Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; 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. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 20-4033. 

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Author: Editor
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