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Drug Activity at the Time of Jodi's Abduction
January 13, 2012
1:25 pm
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thecat
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Posted: Thursday, June 17, 1999 12:00 am | (0) Comments
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Thursday, June 17, 1999
By JAN HORGEN, Of The Globe-Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS - A Mason City man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal drug charges in U.S. District Court.
Dan F. McCourt, 21, of Mason City, entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana before Chief U.S. Magistrate John A. Jarvey, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Rapp.
Jarvey ordered McCourt held in custody until his sentencing which has been set for Sept. 1.
During the plea hearing, McCourt, nephew of Val Perez, Mason City, admitted helping Perez break down and repackage for resale controlled substances that were shipped from Arizona to Mason City, the report said.
McCourt faces up to 40 years in prison, without the possibility of parole, a fine of up to $2 million and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
In an indictment filed on Dec. 11, 1998, McCourt, Val Perez, and Jesus Navarro, Tucson, Ariz., were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine between 1996 and 1998 by using a distribution network between Iowa, Arizona and Mexico.
Perez and Navarro were also charged with money laundering. A July 19 trial has been set for Perez and Navarro. Trial for Leland Foster, Clear Lake, who also faces drug conspiracy charges will begin July 6.
Summer Hoffarth, Clear Lake, and Vance Cassaro, Phoenix, Ariz., and James Wiggins, Mason City, are awaiting trial pending further proceedings, according to the report.
The defendants are among the 25 individuals arrested in connection with a drug organization allegedly headed by Steve Gomez of Mason City, who is now serving a federal prison sentence on drug charges,

Saturday, September 4, 1999
By JOHN SKIPPER, Of The Globe-Gazette
CEDAR FALLS - A Phoenix, Ariz.., man became the third person this week sentenced to federal prison in connection with a drug ring that operated in Mason City.
Vance Cassaro, 22, was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison without possibility of parole followed by five years of supervised release. He was also fined $100.
On March 25, Cassaro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine and more than 100 kilograms of marijuana over a four-year period from 1994 through 1997. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 18, 1998.
Earlier this week, Justin M. Perez, 23, of Mason City, was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison and Robert Schwieger of Clear Lake was sentenced to 6 1/2 years, both on federal drug charges.
They are among 26 people from four states charged in three separate indictments involving drug operations that U.S. Attorney Stephen Rapp said were run by Steve Gomez and Val Perez of Mason City.
In March, Gomez was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Val Perez will be sentenced Oct. 8
Copyright 2012 North Iowa Media Group. All rights reserved. This ma

January 13, 2012
1:28 pm
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thecat
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Saturday, June 19, 1999
By Bob Fenske, Of The Globe-Gazette
SIOUX CITY - Three men received prison sentences Friday ranging from 61/2 years to 17 years, for their role in what federal prosecutors say was one of the largest drug rings in North Iowa.
Michael Solvey, of Long Beach, Calif.; Richard Blair, of Clear Lake; and Scott Hart, of Mason City; had all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to distribute controlled sentences.
Judge Mark W. Bennett sentenced Solvey to 17 years in prison, Blair to 10 years and Hart to six years, eight months.
All three were part of a drug ring that distributed methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana in North Iowa from 1994 through 1997. Federal prosecutors contend that the ring was led by Mason City resident Steve Gomez, who pleaded guilty to money laundering and drug charges and was sentenced to a 19-year prison term earlier this year.
Because the federal prison system does not have parole, Solvey, Blair and Hart must serve at least 85 percent of their prison terms before they can be released for good behavior.
Thirteen people have now been sentenced to prison terms as part of the drug ring. Seven have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentence. Three others have July trial dates scheduled.
Copyright 2012 North Iowa Media Group. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rew

Read more: http://globegazette.com/news/l.....z1jH9G1fd3

January 13, 2012
1:30 pm
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Saturday, July 17, 1999
By JOHN SKIPPER, Of The Globe-Gazette
MASON CITY - U.S. Attorney Stephen Rapp said Friday the methamphetamine problem is worse in Mason City than in other Iowa communities of comparable size.
"In fact, it's more serious in Mason City than most other places in the state," he said.
The reason is the apparent demand for it.
"There's no question there is a lot of demand in North Iowa. That's why (drug) organizations come here. We've been down this road before with Gomez, Gonzalez, Honken," he said, referring to leaders of other alleged North Iowa drug operations. "Methamphetamine is a devastating drug. The community needs to do everything it can to educate the public about it," said Rapp.
He said the nine recent arrests will slow the drug business down for a while. "We put a significant dent in a drug organization that was flourishing, doing a land office business. That organization is now shut down," said Rapp.
"We all have heard about meth labs, that 270 meth labs have been uncovered in Iowa. But 80 to 90 percent of the meth in Mason City is imported from the American Southwest with connections to Mexico," he said. "And this is the kind of case we have here."
Rapp said the meth operations have become so sophisticated and spread out that federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have to work together. "You have to have the cooperation of all of these agencies to take on an organization like this," he said.
Local authorities, appearing at a press conference with Rapp, said they want to send a message to dealers and users in North Iowa. "The state of Iowa has declared war on drugs and we're going to continue this effort," said Iowa State Patrol Capt. Gary Cooney.
Scott Jennings, special agent with the Cedar Rapids office of the FBI said, "We have worked very closely with the Mason City Police Department and other local agencies. This investigation has taken about a year - and it is ongoing.
Mason City Police Capt. Mike Halverson said he thought the recent arrests will have an effect. "We're going to see a reduction in meth that's around town. But we're not done," he said.
Rapp said, "The clear message is that individuals who bring methamphetamine into our communities are going to be caught, they're going to be prosecuted and they're going to prison."
Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Larry Mason said authorities will be relentless in their efforts to clean up North Iowa's drug problems.
"If you're still dealing, we might be knocking on your door next," he said.
Copyright 2012 North Iowa Media Group. All rights reserved. This material may not be publish

Read more: http://globegazette.com/news/l.....z1jH9m197L

January 13, 2012
1:33 pm
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Saturday, September 4, 1999
By JOHN SKIPPER, Of The Globe-Gazette
CEDAR FALLS - A Phoenix, Ariz.., man became the third person this week sentenced to federal prison in connection with a drug ring that operated in Mason City.
Vance Cassaro, 22, was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison without possibility of parole followed by five years of supervised release. He was also fined $100.
On March 25, Cassaro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine and more than 100 kilograms of marijuana over a four-year period from 1994 through 1997. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 18, 1998.
Earlier this week, Justin M. Perez, 23, of Mason City, was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison and Robert Schwieger of Clear Lake was sentenced to 6 1/2 years, both on federal drug charges.
They are among 26 people from four states charged in three separate indictments involving drug operations that U.S. Attorney Stephen Rapp said were run by Steve Gomez and Val Perez of Mason City.
In March, Gomez was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Val Perez will be sentenced Oct. 8

Read more: http://globegazette.com/news/l.....z1jH8YzdLi

January 13, 2012
1:43 pm
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thecat
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March 21, 1993 - Britt native Dustin Honken and Timothy Cutkomp, formerly of Mason City, are arrested in Mason City on drug charges.

March 26, 1993 - Honken is indicted in federal court for alleged methamphetamine trafficking in Iowa from his residence, then in Tempe, Ariz.

April 20, 1993 - Greg Nicholson testifies against Honken before a federal grand jury.

July 3, 1993 - Angela Johnson of Klemme files an application for and obtains a permit to buy a handgun. Four days later, she purchases a Tech-9 9 mm handgun at a pawnshop in Waterloo.

July 26, 1993 - Nicholson and Nicholson's girlfriend, Lori Ann Duncan, 31, and her two daughters, 10-year-old Amber and 6-year-old Kandace, are reported missing.

Nov. 5, 1993 - Terry DeGeus, 32, of rural Britt, another potential witness in the investigation against Honken, is reported missing.

March 21, 1995 - The original charges against Honken are dismissed because witnesses could not be located.

Feb. 7, 1996 - Local, state and federal law enforcement officers execute a search warrant at Honken's Mason City home and discover a meth lab.

April 29, 1996 - Honken and Cutkomp are arrested in Mason City for conspiring to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine from 1993 to 1996.

June 11, 1996 - Chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine are seized from as storage shed at Johnson's home.

June 22, 2014
6:56 pm
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nanporter
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thecat said

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 1999 12:00 am | (0) Comments
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Thursday, June 17, 1999
By JAN HORGEN, Of The Globe-Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS - A Mason City man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal drug charges in U.S. District Court.
Dan F. McCourt, 21, of Mason City, entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana before Chief U.S. Magistrate John A. Jarvey, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Rapp.
Jarvey ordered McCourt held in custody until his sentencing which has been set for Sept. 1.
During the plea hearing, McCourt, nephew of Val Perez, Mason City, admitted helping Perez break down and repackage for resale controlled substances that were shipped from Arizona to Mason City, the report said.
McCourt faces up to 40 years in prison, without the possibility of parole, winkkisswink fine of up to $2 million and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
In an indictment filed on Dec. 11, 1998, McCourt, Val Perez, and Jesus Navarro, Tucson, Ariz., were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine between 1996 and 1998 by using a distribution network between Iowa, Arizona and Mexico.
Perez and Navarro were also charged with money laundering. A July 19 trial has been set for Perez and Navarro. Trial for Leland Foster, Clear Lake, who also faces drug conspiracy charges will begin July 6.
Summer Hoffarth, Clear Lake, and Vance Cassaro, Phoenix, Ariz., and James Wiggins, Mason City, are awaiting trial pending further proceedings, according to the report.
The defendants are among the 25 individuals arrested in connection with a drug organization allegedly headed by Steve Gomez of Mason City, who is now serving a federal prison sentence on drug charges,

Saturday, September 4, 1999
By JOHN SKIPPER, Of The Globe-Gazette
CEDAR FALLS - A Phoenix, Ariz.., man became the third person this week sentenced to federal prison in connection with a drug ring that operated in Mason City.
Vance Cassaro, 22, was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison without possibility of parole followed by five years of supervised release. He was also fined $100.
On March 25, Cassaro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine and more than 100 kilograms of marijuana over a four-year period from 1994 through 1997. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 18, 1998.
Earlier this week, Justin M. Perez, 23, of Mason City, was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison and Robert Schwieger of Clear Lake was sentenced to 6 1/2 years, both on federal drug charges.
They are among 26 people from four states charged in three separate indictments involving drug operations that U.S. Attorney Stephen Rapp said were run by Steve Gomez and Val Perez of Mason City.
In March, Gomez was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Val Perez will be sentenced Oct. 8
Copyright 2012 North Iowa Media Group. All rights reserved. This ma

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