Rochester Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

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

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Rochester man was sentenced today to 180 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, from June 2019 through August 2019, Nicholas John Hanson, 38, was part of a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. As part of the conspiracy, Hanson coordinated and facilitated the delivery of methamphetamine on behalf of the conspiracy leader, John Willis Netherton, also known as “Big John,” and “Wicked One.” 

Hanson, who pleaded guilty on August 17, 2020, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson. Hanson was the last conspiracy member to be sentenced by the Court. Judge Nelson previously sentenced several other conspiracy members:

  • On August 25, 2020, Jacob Paul Williams was sentenced to 180 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release.
  • On August 28, 2020, Miguel Angel Cuevas Zamora was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment and two years of supervised release.
  • On May 11, 2021, conspiracy leader Netherton was sentenced to 260 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release.
  • On June 22, 2021, Jason Edward Hoffman was sentenced to 132 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release.
  • On June 7, 2021, Andrew Robert Berndt was sentenced to 102 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release.
  • On July 19, 2021, Deja Lee Benton was sentenced to 84 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release.
  • On August 18, 2021, Joshua Alexander Sazo was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment and two years of supervised release.
  • On June 1, 2022, Kayleigh Rea Todd was sentenced to 40 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rochester Police Department, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crimes Enforcement Team, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the South Central Drug Investigation Unit, and the Minnesota State Patrol.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter, Jr. prosecuted the case.