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Iowa City Criminal Defense Blog

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.

Iowa man facing felony and misdemeanor possession drug charges

While often a non-violent crime, being convicted of drug charges in Iowa can still carry major repercussions, including a criminal record even where none existed before. A conviction regarding charges of felony or misdemeanor possession can follow an individual for decades. Unfortunately for one 22-year-old, this is just the situation he is now facing.

The Muscatine man was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped on Jan. 8 for an expired registration. During the stop, the man was purportedly found to be in possession of over a half pound (242.6 grams, to be exact) of a substance that supposedly smelled like marijuana, per the criminal complaint. A preliminary hearing was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 9 a.m., though the results of the hearing were not reported at the time of this article.

Iowa man facing 5 counts of felony identity theft

An Iowa man is facing multiple counts of felony identity theft. The Osceola business owner has been charged with five counts of felony, each a class D because of the amounts involved. Per the Iowa Department of Transportation's Bureau of Investigation and Identity Protection, if he is convicted, the defendant would be subject to provisions prohibiting him from owning or even working for a licensed motor vehicle dealer in the state of Iowa in the future.

The accused is the owner of Anchor Motors. Per a police report, he used the identification number of a previous employee to fraudulently make claims of warranty work to the Ford Motor Company. Each alleged instance of identity theft involved losses of between $1,000 and $10,000.

Iowa woman accused of embezzlement of over $500,000

In small businesses and small towns, there seems to be a growing trend of employees accused of taking advantage of the trust their employers place in them. In one Iowa town, the government offices are reeling after being alerted to inconsistencies in the accounting records. The former city clerk is now facing embezzlement charges.

The city hired a new clerk after the previous clerk resigned. In the course of her work, the new clerk came across a credit card with high charges on it. The card was not authorized by the city council, so the woman turned it over to officials who launched an audit. The audit revealed that, while the previous clerk was employed with the city, over $500,000 of city money had been improperly used.

Iowa city clerk may face fraud charges

When times are hard, people may resort to desperate measures to make ends meet. One Iowa woman may have been in that situation because she is being accused of committing over $300,000 in fraud. The investigation began after the mayor of a local town heard reports that a clerk had been throwing city documents into the dumpster. The documents included statements from unauthorized bank accounts as well as carbons of checks and deposit slips associated with those accounts.

Officials requested an audit immediately after the clerk was fired. The audit revealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in unsanctioned transactions and undeposited payments from utilities and other city funds. These payments apparently went into one of two accounts the woman is accused of opening with falsified documents to authorize the accounts. Auditors uncovered almost $33,000 in city funds deposited in those accounts.

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