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May 5, 2023Des Moines, IA, United StatesNarcotics, Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Iowa man sentenced to 25 years for meth and gun convictions following HSI investigation

A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine and illegally possessed firearms was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment on May 1

DES MOINES, Iowa — A jury convicted Robert Nicholas Hansen, 43, of Hospers, of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; two counts of distribution of methamphetamine; and one count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm (one gun) on Nov. 3, 2022, following a joint HSI investigation. On May 18, 2022, a jury convicted Hansen of two counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm (17 guns).

The jury found that from January 2017 through January 2021, Hansen was involved in a conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of pure methamphetamine. Evidence at trial showed that Hansen was involved in acquiring and distributing more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine with several other co-conspirators. Evidence also showed that on two separate occasions, Hansen distributed one-half pound of methamphetamine to people cooperating with law enforcement officials, and during one of the transactions, he possessed three separate bundles of cash totaling $14,000.

The jury verdict included findings that Hansen distributed methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of Hospers Elementary School and South Side Park in Hospers. The jury also found that he illegally possessed a .223-caliber, AR-15 style rifle. At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Hansen had others store methamphetamine and guns for him when the “heat was on” him from law enforcement. At sentencing, Hansen’s illegal involvement with three other guns was also presented.

During Hansen’s other trial, the jury found that from 2017 through November 2017, Hansen illegally possessed 17 firearms. At sentencing, Hansen’s illegal involvement with four other guns was also presented. He was previously convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver in 2003 in the Iowa District Court for Sioux County.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand sentenced Hansen to 25 years’ imprisonment and ordered him to serve a 10-year term of supervised release following his imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. Hansen remains in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from HSI; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department; the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; the South Sioux City, Nebraska, 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; the Woodbury County Attorney’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office; the Orange City Police Department; the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shawn Wehde and Patrick Greenwood.

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 eradicate drug trafficking in your community on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.