Gavel and flag - federal court ruling

SIOUX CITY—A 33-year-old Sutherland man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 21, in federal court in Sioux City.

Dustin Joe Martinez was convicted of conspiracy to distribute meth.

He previously was convicted of conspiracy to distribute meth within 1,000 feet of a school and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on June 3, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

At the plea hearing, evidence showed that from 2019 to approximately March 2021, Martinez and others distributed at least 250 grams of meth mixture and 100 grams of pure meth.

On two other occasions, in March of 2020 and March of 2021, Martinez was found in possession of approximately 1 ounce of meth, which he intended to distribute to another person or persons.

Sentencing before U.S. District Chief Judge Leonard Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.

Martinez remains in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, an $8 million fine, and at least eight years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Shawn Wehde and was investigated by Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Spencer Police Department, O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory.