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Estherville man sent to federal prison for meth and guns


This news story was published on March 8, 2019.
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SIOUX CITY – A previous gun conviction did not deter a Northern Iowa man from carrying a gun and crashing a motorcycle during flight from police.

Todd Christopher Moritz, 47, from Estherville, Iowa, was sentenced March 6, 2019, to more than 15 years in federal prison after a June 11, 2018, guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.

Evidence at the guilty plea and sentencing showed that in June 2017, Moritz, driving a motorcycle, attempted to evade police. Moritz crashed the motorcycle, then fled on foot. Once apprehended, officers seized over 7 grams of methamphetamine, baggies, a digital scale, and eight cell phones from Moritz. Despite Moritz’s prior conviction for possessing a firearm as a felon, he also had a loaded gun with an obliterated serial number.

Moritz was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Moritz was sentenced to 189 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a 4-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Moritz is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mikala M. Steenholdt and investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Emmet County Sheriff’s Office, Estherville Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Iowa Division of Criminalistics Investigations.

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