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FIVE PEOPLE SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR METH-DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY


This news story was published on March 26, 2011.
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Four men and one woman have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a Mason City area methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.

Ryan O’Connor, age 30, of Midlothian City, Illinois, received his prison term after an October 14, 2010, guilty plea; Adam Wander, age 24, of Clear Lake, Iowa, received his prison term after a November 2, 2010, guilty plea; Sarah Kephart, age 30, of Mason City, Iowa, and Chad Hubacher, age 31, of Arlington, Minnesota, received their prison terms after November 15, 2010, guilty pleas; and, Michael Weitzel, age 30, of Mason City, Iowa, received his prison term after a December 2, 2010, guilty plea. Kephart pled to distributing methamphetamine, within 1000 feet of Newman Catholic School in Mason City, Iowa. Wander, Weitzel, Hubacher, and O’Connor each pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Weitzel was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, in March 2007, and Hubacher was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, on March 30, 2001.

Information provided by the United States at the sentencings and change of plea hearings showed Kephart distributed methamphetamine to confidential informants, and on at least one occasion the transfer was within 1000 feet of Newman Catholic School in Mason City, Iowa. Kephart aided and abetted the sale of 7-10 grams of methamphetamine. Hubacher, Weitzel, and O’Connor received multiple ounce quantities of methamphetamine and resold it to numerous others. O’Connor sold or brokered transactions involving up to ½ ounce quantities of methamphetamine. Wander was the middle-man in drug deals and sold small amounts of methamphetamine. The conspiracy lasted from December 2009 to April 2010, in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

Weitzel, Hubacher, O’Connor, Wander, and Kephart, were sentenced on March 18, 2011, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Weitzel was sentenced to 204 months’ imprisonment, Hubacher was sentenced to 168 months’ imprisonment, O’Connor was sentenced to 87 months’ imprisonment, Wander was sentenced to 51 months’ imprisonment, and Kephart was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment. Weitzel and Hubacher must each serve a ten-year term of supervised release after prison. O’Connor must serve a five-year term of supervised release after prison. Wander must serve a three-year term of supervised release after prison, and Kephart must serve a six-year term of supervised release after prison. There is no parole in the federal system. Weitzel, Hubacher, O’Connor, Wander, and Kephart, were each ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

All five are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to a federal prison.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jack Lammers and was investigated by the North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force, Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office, Mason City Police Department, Clear Lake Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s office, Hampton Police Department, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and FBI.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl, case file # 10-3025. |

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