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Fort Dodge man sent to prison for distributing guns and over 100 pounds of meth

SIOUX CITY – A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced April 15, 2019, to 15 years in federal prison.

Craig Eugene Essing, 59, from Fort Dodge, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 26, 2018, guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Evidence at the plea and sentencing hearings showed that Essing and others in the conspiracy distributed over 100 pounds of methamphetamine in the Fort Dodge, area from June 2015 through September 2017. Essing obtained methamphetamine from sources in Des Moines, Iowa for redistribution in the Fort Dodge area. During a search warrant at Essing’s residence on September 8, 2017, law enforcement seized indicia of drug distribution, including approximately fourteen ounces of methamphetamine, eleven firearms, including a SKS rifle, numerous rounds of ammunition, $4,911, three digital scales, packaging material, and other drug paraphernalia.

Essing was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Essing was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Essing 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 Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, DCI Criminalistic Laboratory, Iowa State Patrol, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Fort Dodge Police Department and the Central Iowa Drug Task Force.

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