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Webster City man sentenced on meth and gun convictions

SIOUX CITY – A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine while possessing a firearm was sentenced January 2, 2020, to 12 years in federal prison.

Jaime Candelario-Mercado, 38, from Webster City, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 28, 2019, guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.

At the guilty plea hearing, Candelario-Mercado admitted that from about April 2018 through January 2019, he and others conspired to distribute more than sixteen pounds of methamphetamine in the Webster City and Eagle Grove area. In June 2018, he was arrested along with another person with about 2 ounces of marijuana, 2 ounces of methamphetamine and a loaded handgun. On six separate occasions in January 2019, Candelario-Mercado and another distributed over 190 grams of pure methamphetamine to individuals cooperating with law enforcement. Defendant further admitted that he possessed a gun during his distribution of methamphetamine to protect his person, money and drugs.

Candelario-Mercado was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Candelario-Mercado was sentenced to 144 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. Candelario-Mercado 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 investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Wright County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office, and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations.

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