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Iowa City Criminal Defense Blog

Iowa men facing felony charges over stolen walnut trees

Recently, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported the theft of nine walnut trees from a state forest. The two men who have since been accused of the crime have since turned themselves in to authorities. The individuals are now facing felony theft charges, according to authorities.

Early in the year, an employee at the state park noted tire tracks which led him to investigate the area. The forestry worker says he subsequently discovered that nine walnut trees were missing. An official from the DNR law enforcement bureau notes that it appears the trees had been cut down, sawed into logs, then loaded into trucks and hauled away.

The basics of mortgage fraud in Iowa

Fraud is a generic term for wrongful, criminal deception, the objective of which is financial or personal gain. For some, the term may conjure up images of swindlers intent on tricking others for profit. However, when it comes to mortgage fraud in Iowa, this is not necessarily always the case.

There are two main categories of mortgage fraud: fraud for profit, and fraud for housing. Fraud for profit usually involves a situation where a real estate professional -- such as a mortgage broker or appraiser -- supposedly attempts to extract money unlawfully with respect to a property or transaction. This often leads to official investigations by law enforcement.

Former Iowa assistant jail administrator facing felony charges

Even being accused of a crime can potentially affect a person's career prospects, both in the present and the future. In Iowa, a man facing felony charges has already lost his job. Now, depending on the outcome of his June trial, the stakes for his future are even higher than just finding a new job.

The former assistant jail administrator is facing charges of felony theft and misconduct in office. After working for the last 15 years in his position, he was fired in March 2016. Allegedly, he was let go on accusations of not depositing inmates' fees for room and board.

Iowa teacher loses job after being accused of sex crimes

Sexual offenses run the gamut from something like indecent exposure for public urination to violent rape, with a host of possibilities between. While these different offenses vary greatly in their severity, the fact remains that being found guilty of most of them results in a court order requiring the individual to be included on an official sex offender registry for the rest of his or her life. Despite the legal presumption of innocence, just being accused of sex crimes is often enough to destroy a person's career, relationships and more.

Recently, an Iowa teacher was arrested on accusations of having a sexual relationship with a student. The 26-year-old man lost his job at a high school directly after his arrest, despite the fact that he had not yet even gone before a judge or entered any sort of plea. He was booked into a county jail, where he is being held on $5,000 bond.

Sentencing for drug charge increases near Iowa schools

Across the nation, every state has enhanced penalties for offences made in areas considered protected school zones. It is for this reason that a man is facing up to 25 years in prison on a drug charge that might otherwise have carried a much lesser sentence. The 18-year-old was arrested on allegations of selling drugs near an Iowa elementary school, and the proximity to the school drastically increases the time he might serve if convicted.

The arrest affidavit alleges that the defendant peddled marijuana to a young teenage male in the parking lot of a business known as The Sugar Shack on March 4 around noon. The Sugar Shack -- which describes itself as both a convenience store and a small community Christian ministry -- is located directly across the street from Monroe Elementary School. Therefore, the alleged drug deal supposedly took place within the 1,000-foot drug-free zone radius.

Iowa dairy workers union president facing embezzlement charges

An Iowa man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling more than $45,000 over a three-year span. The defendant is the former president of the United Dairy Workers of Le Mars, the organization from which he stands accused of embezzling the funds. Embezzlement, a class B felony, can carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison if a conviction is ultimately secured.

According to reports, the man's recent arrest was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department Office of Labor-Management Standards. Documents from a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa allege that the embezzlement occurred between 2012 and June 9, 2015. An arrest warrant was executed by federal marshals on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

Iowa couple facing charges of misdemeanor possession of meth

Regardless of the actual charge, any criminal accusation involving drugs has the potential to be serious. Even for a first-time offense in Iowa, a conviction even just for misdemeanor possession charges can carry penalties of jail time and fines. A married couple who was recently arrested for possession of the controlled substance methamphetamine is now facing such charges.

Police searched the Iowa couple's home on Thursday, March 9. Officers responded to the residence at around 6:00 that evening, supposedly in reference to drug use and an apparent warrant on one of the male occupants. When the officers entered the home, they detained seven of the people within. The police officers claim that both guns and drugs were visible while they were clearing the house.

Iowa man accused of felony, theft facing numerous charges

While felonies are generally defined as crimes involving violence, that is not necessarily always the case. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, though, and typically carry a more severe sentence, including the possibility of jail time. An Iowa man accused of theft and felony forgery has just been arrested and may be facing such a sentence, though an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to work with him to improve the outlook.

The 29-year-old man was taken into custody early on Feb. 28. He is facing accusations that he illegally obtained debit cards and then supposedly withdrew cash from ATMs. Investigators also claim that he tried to use forged and bad checks on a number of occasions, including allegedly using a bad check from his own account to buy lottery tickets.

Conflicting accounts of alleged Iowa sex crimes lead to confusion

Accusations of crimes of a sexual nature can be among the most difficult to either prove or refute. Sex crimes sometimes become a game of "he said/she said," but one with very high stakes indeed. In Iowa City, a man was recently arrested on accusations of sexual assault, but a number of conflicting accounts are making it difficult to determine what actually occurred.

Early on Jan. 16 at around 12:15 in the morning, police received a call reporting two people having sex in the area between two houses. The 911 caller reported sounds of crying, claiming that the sex sounded like it might not be consensual, according to the complaint. Officers claim that, when they arrived at the scene, the man's belt was unbuckled, and they say that he was attempting to pull down the woman's pants. Reportedly, the woman also had a cut on her head, according to police statements.

Suspect charged in Iowa check scam

One man has been arrested, and a second is still being sought in an ongoing police investigation in Iowa involving fraudulent payroll checks. The 40-year-old defendant was taken into custody on the morning of Jan. 30. He has been charged with two counts of felony forgery and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The arrest took place that Monday after employees of a Fareway grocery store called local police to report a possible case of check fraud. After officers responded, they located the suspect and two women in a car parked nearby. The women are also facing misdemeanor drug-related charges because of the items purportedly discovered within the vehicle.

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