News Release
April 30, 2008
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
(314) 538-4660

Iowa Woman and Her Brother are Sentenced on Federal Drug Charges

APR 30 --Davenport, IA - On April 28, 2008, Billy Marie Scarlett, age 49, formerly of Marshalltown, Iowa was sentenced by United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey to 240 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker. Scarletts’s co-defendant and brother, Travis Lee Spitznogle, was sentenced on April 7, 2008 to 121 months in federal prison. Spitznogle was sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine from July 24, 2006 to August 2, 2006. There is no parole in the federal system. After release from prison, Scarlett will be subject to ten years of supervised release.

On July 24, 2006, a Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement agent, acting in an undercover capacity was introduced to Travis Lee Spitznogle, pursuant to prior arrangements to purchase one ounce of methamphetamine from Spitznogle. The narcotics agent arrived at Spitznogle’s residence in Morning Sun, Iowa (Louisa County). The narcotics agent received approximately 27.61 grams of methamphetamine from Spitznogle. The narcotics agent paid Spitznogle $1800 U.S. Currency.

On July 28, 2006, the narcotics agent had several phone conversations with Spitznogle. During these conversations, Spitznogle stated he was waiting on his source to get more methamphetamine. Later that same day, the narcotics agent went to Spitznogle’s residence in Morning Sun. The narcotics agent received 27.44 grams of methamphetamine from Spitznogle in exchange for $1800.00 in U.S. Currency.

From July 29, 2006 to August 1, 2006, the narcotics agent and Spitznogle had several phone conversations. During these conversations, the narcotics agent requested a total of one pound of methamphetamine from Spitznogle. Spitznogle stated he would have to wait until meeting with his source before determining if he could agree to provide a full one pound. Also, during these conversations Spitznogle told the narcotics agent he would be leaving on August 1, 2006 to meet with his source.

On August 1, 2006 at approximately 5:00 p.m., DNE agents, members of the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force, and other officers began surveillance on Spitznogle’s residence in Morning Sun. Officers observed an individual they could identify as Spitznogle leave the residence in a black Grand Am. Officer followed this vehicle to a residence in Marshalltown, Iowa. Narcotics agents in the Marshalltown area informed officers that this residence was associated with an female individual they knew as Billy Garcia. Officers later determined that this “Billy Garcia,” was the same as Billy Marie Scarlett, Spitznogle’s sister. Officers observed the black Grand Am arrive at the residence in Marshalltown, and Spitznogle and another subject got out and went inside the residence. A short time later, officers observed the same two subjects come out of the residence and drove away in the black Grand Am. During this time, the narcotics agent received a phone call from Spitznogle stating that they were staying overnight and bringing the drugs to him the next morning. Officers later observed the black Grand Am driving east bound on Interstate 80.

On August 2, 2006, an undercover narcotics agent received a phone call from Spitznogle who stated that the drugs were coming in that morning and asked him to get the money together. Later that morning, the undercover agent had a phone conversation with Spitznogle and Spitznogle stated that the drugs were there and that his sister and another female were at the residence. The undercover agent arrived at Spitznogle’s residence in Morning Sun, went inside and met with Spitznogle, who appeared to be the only person in the residence at the time. The undercover agent observed Spitznogle go into a back room and come back out with a clear plastic baggie of methamphetamine. The undercover agent put the baggie on a scale and it weighed out to 419.1 grams of methamphetamine. At that time other officers entered the residence and placed Spitznogle in custody.

Approximately ten minutes later, officers observed a blue Dodge Spirit returning to the residence. Officers observed the vehicle stop and start to back up before officers were able to stop the vehicle. The driver of this vehicle was identified by Iowa Driver’s License as Billy Marie Scarlett. The address on this license matched the residence in Marshalltown where officers observed Spitznogle on August 1, 2006. Inside the trunk of this vehicle, officers seized 228.3 grams of methamphetamine. Scarlett later admitted to bringing approximately two pounds of methamphetamine and distributing this methamphetamine to Spitznogle.

Officers had obtained a state search warrant for Spitznogle’s residence in Morning Sun. After Spitznogle’s arrest, officers searched the residence. Several items were seized including approximately four grams of purported methamphetamine on Spitznogle’s person and an additional 215.6 grams of purported methamphetamine in a coat hanging inside the residence.

This case was prosecuted in the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Iowa. This investigation was conducted by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force, Muscatine County Drug Task Force, Johnson County Narcotics Task Force, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, the Tama County Sheriff’s Office, the Burlington Police Department and the West Burlington Police Department.