Lincoln Couple Sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

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4 mins read

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Raymond Michael Maestas, 28, and his wife, Jaesa Suzanne Vaughn, 28, both of Lincoln, Nebraska, were sentenced today by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard to federal prison for possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture. 

Maestas was sentenced to 15 years for possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture with a prior conviction for serious violent felony, (robbery). He also received a sentence of five years for using, carrying, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.  The sentence on the gun charge must be served consecutive to (after) the sentence on the drug charge.  Following his prison term, Maestas will serve ten years on supervised release. 

Vaughn was sentenced to 10 years for possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.  She will serve five years on supervised release after completing her prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system. 

On February 28, 2021, a pickup driven by Maestas, in which Vaughn was the passenger, was stopped in Lancaster County for speeding.  A Lancaster Sheriff’s Office canine indicated the odor of narcotics on the passenger side door.  The pickup was searched.  A box was found inside a battery cover where the pickup’s battery would normally be located.  This box contained two locked safes containing three packages of methamphetamine weighing a total of approximately 1 ½ pounds, 13 Fentanyl pills and a vacuum-sealed Jimenez .380 handgun.  The actual battery for the pickup was found hooked up near the passenger-side window.  A Hi-Point .45 caliber handgun was found under the center console inside the passenger compartment.  A vacuum sealer was also found in the pickup.  Maestas claimed everything belonged to him and said Vaughn had nothing to do with it. Vaughn said the vacuum sealer belonged to her and claimed it was used to seal food.  On the same date, a search warrant was executed at Maestas’s and Vaughn’s Lincoln residence.  During that search, scales and packaging materials along with suspected drug sales records were found. 

This case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Maestas’s and Vaughn’s cases were investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force.

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