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March 15, 2023Sioux City, IA, United StatesNarcotics

Iowa man sentenced to 15 years for meth conspiracy following HSI investigation

The man attempted to dispose of meth while fleeing law enforcement officials

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — A court convicted Dustin Coates, 36, of Cherokee, of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, following a joint Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigation. He was sentenced March 7 in a federal court in Sioux City. Coates was previously convicted of distribution of a controlled substance in the United States District Court for South Dakota in 2013.

Coates admitted his involvement in a conspiracy that distributed at least 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine, including 150 grams of pure methamphetamine, from March 2021 through March 8, 2022.

On March 8, law enforcement officials stopped the vehicle Coates was driving. He threw two bags of methamphetamine from his person while attempting to flee on foot and later admitted that he planned to distribute the 60-plus grams of pure methamphetamine.

United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand in Sioux City sentenced Coates to 180 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve 10 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

The Tri-State Drug Task Force, based in Sioux City, investigated this case. The task force comprises law enforcement personnel from HSI; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Sioux City Police Department; the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; the South Sioux City Police Department; the Nebraska State Patrol; the Iowa National Guard; the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; the U.S. Marshals Service; the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and the Woodbury County Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Kraig R. Hamit prosecuted the case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 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 more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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