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Iowa man pleads guilty to meth and gun charges

SIOUX CITY – A man who conspired to distribute meth while possessing guns pled guilty June 15, 2021, in federal court in Sioux City.

Christopher O’Tool, 43, from Arcadia, Iowa, was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

At the plea hearing, O’Tool admitted he was involved in two conspiracies, one from about January 2016 through June 2016 and another from March 2019 through July 2019, in which he and others distributed more than four pounds of methamphetamine. In May and June 2016, O’Tool distributed over 50 grams of pure methamphetamine to individuals cooperating with law enforcement. On June 2, 2016, law enforcement stopped O’Tool, searched his vehicle, and seized nearly a pound of methamphetamine and a .45 caliber handgun and ammunition. O’Tool admitted to his involvement in the distribution of methamphetamine in and around the Carroll, Iowa area, which he acquired from a source in Omaha, Nebraska. On July 11, 2019, law enforcement agents met with O’Tool, and with his consent, seized two 9mm pistols from O’Tool’s truck. Later that day, O’Tool also admitted to again distributing methamphetamine in and around the Carroll, Iowa area.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. O’Tool remains in custody pending sentencing. On the conspiracy convictions, O’Tool faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least 5 years of supervised release following any imprisonment. On the firearm conviction, O’Tool faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed on the conspiracy convictions, and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than 3 years of supervised release.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Denison Police Department, Carroll Police Department, and Iowa DCI.


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