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Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office receives $742,707 in forfeiture proceeds

Cedar Rapids – A total of $742,707 in federal forfeiture proceeds has been awarded to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office. The award was announced today at the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center by Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Sean R. Berry, United States Marshal for the Northern District of Iowa Kenneth Runde, and Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos.

The $742,707 represents proceeds of a forfeiture action pursued by the United States Attorney’s Office in connection with the investigation and prosecution of a scheme in 2006 and 2007 to steal and sell meat from interstate trucking shipments originating from East Dubuque, Illinois. Four Dubuque area residents were convicted and sentenced to federal prison for their roles in stealing and selling the meat.

As part of the scheme, truck drivers first drove the loads of meat from a storage facility in East Dubuque to a rural Dubuque farm owned by one of the truckers. There, participants in the scheme opened the semi-trailers and stole cases of meat. The stolen meat was usually stored temporarily in a separate refrigerated semi-trailer kept at the farm and then sold to area residents and businesses for one dollar per pound. Money derived from the scheme was used to make payments on the farm.

As part of a plea agreement with the United States, the convicted owners of the farm agreed to forfeit their interest in the property. The farm was subsequently sold and most of the proceeds of the sale were awarded to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, pursuant to the federal asset forfeiture program, due to its role in investigating and prosecuting those involved in the scheme.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Murphy and was investigated by Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office.

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