Woodbury County Man Sentenced to over 19 years for Meth Conspiracy

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine while he illegally possessed a gun was sentenced March 10, 2022, in federal court in Sioux City.

Matthew Sandoval, 28, from Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after an October 28, 2021, guilty plea of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Sandoval had prior convictions for assault, possessing controlled substances, and three convictions of evading law enforcement which involved high-speed pursuits.

Evidence at the hearings showed that between 2016 and continuing to June 2021, Sandoval and others conspired to distribute at least 40 pounds of methamphetamine in the Siouxland area while he possessed a firearm.  The conspiracy involved, in part, several shipments of methamphetamine utilizing the United States Postal Service.

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service works diligently to preserve the integrity of the US Mail said Ruth M. Mendonça, Inspector in Charge of the Denver Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, which includes Iowa.  People who use the mail to distribute dangerous drugs cause great harm to our communities, and they also place USPS employees at risk of exposure to dangerous controlled substances as well as violence associated with drug trafficking. This conviction reflects successful teamwork among federal, state and local law enforcement. We want the public to know that Postal Inspectors will aggressively pursue anyone who attempts to use the Postal Service for criminal activity. We will not allow the U.S. Mail to be used to commit crimes, and we aim to keep illegal drugs out of the mail for the safety of our employees and customers.”

Sentencing was held before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Sandoval was sentenced to 234 months’ imprisonment and must serve a five-year term of supervised release following imprisonment.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Sandoval remains in custody of the United States Marshal until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick T. Greenwood and was investigated by the Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sioux City, Iowa, Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; South Sioux City, Nebraska, Police Department; Nebraska State Patrol; Iowa National Guard; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; United States Marshals Service; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and Woodbury County Attorney’s Office, and by the United States Postal Inspection Service.    

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 21-4059.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.