Denison man sentenced to federal prison for meth conspiracy that spanned northwest Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota

Denison man sentenced to federal prison for meth conspiracy that spanned northwest Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota

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Juan Lopez-Zuniga, 50, from Denison, was sentenced on June 25 to more than 10 years in federal prison for being involved in a meth conspiracy.

He was convicted by a jury on February 7, 2020, after a three-day trial in federal court; the verdict was returned following about three hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Lopez-Zuniga was involved in a conspiracy that distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine from October 2015 through September 2016, from the Denison area.

Evidence showed that Lopez-Zuniga conducted runs from Denison to Worthington, Minnesota, delivering half-pound quantities of methamphetamine to a co-conspirator for further redistribution in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.

Lopez-Zuniga would then return to Denison with the proceeds of drug sales.

Sentencing was before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Lopez-Zuniga was sentenced to 127 months’ imprisonment.

He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release following the imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

Lopez-Zuniga is being held in the custody of the United States Marshals until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Iowa Department of Narcotics Enforcement; Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; Buffalo Ridge Task Force (Worthington/ Nobles County, Minnesota); and the Internal Revenue Service.

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