Arrests Made in Fentanyl Distribution Case

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

Council Bluffs, Iowa – Five Cass County, Iowa residents were arrested on federal indictments charging Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl. The arrests are the result of a six-month investigation into a series of fentanyl overdose cases occurring in Cass and Shelby Counties. The investigation identified a fentanyl distribution network that covered Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. The investigation into this distribution network remains ongoing.

According to court documents, 19-year-old Mason Blaine Loudermilk of Atlantic, Iowa; 28-year-old Chase Daniel Jahnke of Lewis, Iowa; 26-year-old Kelsi Marie Thurman of Lewis, Iowa; 25-year-old Colby Ray Clarken of Atlantic, Iowa; and 19-year-old Collin Jacob Clarken of Atlantic, Iowa appeared on June 24, 2022. Trial is set for each defendant on August 8, 2022.

The potential penalty for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance as charged in these indictments is a minimum of twenty years up to life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case has been investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics, along with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Omaha Police Department, Fourth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, Iowa Division of Intelligence, and Drug Enforcement Administration. This case will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

United States Attorney Richard Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.