MASON CITY – Convicted drug dealer Stephen Lee Smith, age 34, is being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on a 200,000 cash or surety bond following a traffic stop Friday afternoon by a Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s deputy one mile west of Nora Springs on Highway 18.
Initially Smith faced an aggravated misdemeanor count of driving while barred, but a search of the vehicle uncovered a large quantity of methamphetamine, a firearm, a small amount of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
Smith was transported to the Cerro Gordo County Jail and booked on:
One class B felony count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.
One class D felony count of Felon in Possesion of a Firearm.
One class D felony count of possession of marijuana – 3rd or Subsequent Offense
One class D felony count of failure to affix a drug tax stamp.
One aggravated misdemeanor count of Driving While Barred – Habitual Offender.
One simple misdemeanor count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Smith’s next court date is scheduled for 8:30am on March 8th.
The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the Mason City Police Department and the North Central Iowa Area Drug Task Force. The investigation in ongoing and the charges may be transferred from Cerro Gordo County District Court to the United States District Court of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids should the federal district attorney decide to take on the case.
Smith has a long history of plea bargains, prison sentences, probation violations, parole violations, and drug dealing charges listed in public court records. His last prison sentence expired on June 21st, 2012.
In December 2000 Mason City Police Department arrested Smith for a felony count possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a felony count of failure to affix a drug tax stamp, and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. Judge James Drew later approved a plea bargain deal dismissing the marijuana distribution and possession charges and giving Smith a 5 year suspended prison sentence for the drug tax stamp violation.
In October 2002 Mason City Police Department arrested Smith while on probation for a felony count possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and a felony count of failure to affix a drug tax stamp. Judge James Drew later approved a plea bargain deal dismissing the marijuana distribution but sentenced Smith to 5 years in prison on the drug tax stamp to be served concurrently with the now imposed suspended sentence from 2000.
In September 2007 Mason City Police Department arrested Smith for a felony count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, a felony count of possession of a controlled substance – 3rd or subsequent offense, and a felony count of possession of a controlled substance precursor. Judge Colleen Wieland later approved a plea bargain deal dismissing the conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, which carried a 25 year sentence, but sentenced Smith to serve two 5 years prison sentences on the remaining charges.
By November 2009 Smith was back in Mason City charged with a parole violation, and his parole was revoked.
By June 2011 Smith was back in Mason City and again charged with a parole violation, and his parole was revoked. Following the revocation he was held in prison until June 2012 after serving less than half the time of his last prison sentences.
Should Smith’s case be transferred to the federal system given the possession of a firearm while conspiring to distribute methamphetamine he could face a life sentence given his past convictions.