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December 9, 2022Webster, IA, United StatesNarcotics

HSI, law enforcement investigation leads to another Iowa man being sent to Federal prison

WEBSTER, Iowa — A Webster City man who ordered a pound of methamphetamine from someone he met in state prison was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison on Nov. 29 following a joint investigation involving Homeland Security Investigations, commonly called HSI.

U.S. District Court Judge C.J. Williams sentenced Gabriel Allen Pelz, 44, after a May 18 guilty plea to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of use of a communication facility to commit a felony drug crime. Pelz will serve 188 months in confinement and a six-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

Information disclosed at sentencing showed that Pelz met Andrew Surprenant while they were both incarcerated in state prison. Pelz was released from state custody in December 2021, and in January 2022, he contacted Surprenant and arranged to acquire a pound of ice methamphetamine.

At the time, law enforcement was monitoring a wiretap on Surprenant’s phone and intercepted Pelz and Surprenant’s conversations. Law enforcement surveilled Surprenant’s residence and later stopped Pelz for a traffic violation, discovering a pound of ice methamphetamine in his vehicle. Pelz admitted that he acquired the ice methamphetamine from Surprenant and intended to distribute it to others in the Webster City area.

Andrew Surprenant previously pled guilty to involvement with a Mexico‑based drug trafficking organization and was sentenced to 396 months’ imprisonment on Oct. 21.

The case was investigated as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program through a cooperative effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force consisting of Homeland Security Investigations, the Waterloo Police Department, Cedar Falls Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Department, Evansdale Police Department, Waverly Police Department, Hudson Police Department, La Porte City Police Department and Bremer County Sheriff’s Department; the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Pelz is being held in U.S. Marshals’ custody until officials arrange his transport to a federal prison.

Assistant United States Attorney Dillan Edwards prosecuted this case.

Learn more about HSI’s mission to combat drug trafficking in your community on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.

Homeland Security Investigations

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents the Department of Homeland Security’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.