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Eight defendants sentenced in methamphetamine trafficking ring
More than 340 pounds of meth distributed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa area

(OMAHA) – Matt Barden, Associate Special Agent-in-Charge of the Omaha District Office, today announced eight defendants had been sentenced for their roles in a methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking ring that took place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the surrounding areas. Multiple year sentences were handed down, including one sentence in excess of 24 years.

“These drug traffickers distributed at least 340 pounds of poison in our communities,” Associate Special Agent-in-Charge Barden said. “They brought mayhem to our neighborhoods, and did all they could to make our community a dangerous place to live. DEA is grateful for the partnerships formed with our other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies which, when working together, are capable of dismantling such a sophisticated and horrendous drug trafficking network.” 

A grand jury convened in September of 2016, in the United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa, and charged these co-defendants with the crime of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. All of these defendants later pled guilty to their charges. During sentencing, US District Court Chief Judge Strand found that two of the co-defendants in this conspiracy, Edgar Hernandez and Scott Steuhm, were responsible for distributing approximately 339 pounds of crystal meth to their customers. In all, Chief Judge Strand sentenced these conspiracy members to the following prison sentences:

  • Edgar Hernandez, 31, of Toledo, Iowa, to 252 months imprisonment
  • Kyle Chyma, 29, of Toledo, Iowa, to 180 months imprisonment
  • Scott Steuhm, 26, of Tama, Iowa, to 160 months imprisonment
  • Kelbie Struve, 25, of Toledo, Iowa, to 94 months imprisonment
  • Alejandra Castillo-Hernandez, 46, of Marshalltown, Iowa, to 60 months imprisonment
  • Kailyn Struve, 26, of Toledo, Iowa, to 48 months imprisonment
  • Marlene Hernandez, 25, of Toledo, Iowa, to 15 months imprisonment
  • Tyler Walz, 23, of Tama, Iowa, to 15 months imprisonment

As part of their guilty pleas, these defendants agreed to a forfeit $360,027 in drug proceeds.

This case was investigated by the DEA, the Marshalltown Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Tama County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Marion Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa City Police Department, Johnson County Drug Task Force, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa. 


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