COUNCIL BLUFFS — United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum announced on March 12, Jason Paul Rodriguez, a/k/a “Chico,” 40, of Council Bluffs, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by United States District Court Senior Judge James E. Gritzner for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The prison terms for each conviction will be served concurrently. Rodriguez will serve 10 years of supervised release after his prison term.

Rodriguez organized and led a large-scale drug trafficking operation from 2016 until his arrest in April 2019. Rodriguez and his co-conspirators distributed more than 220 pounds of methamphetamine. Co-defendants Lacey Jo Smalley and Erik M. Barber have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at a later date. The conspiracy involved dozens of others and the investigation is ongoing.

Rodriguez was arrested on April 30, 2019, following a traffic stop. A drug dog alerted law enforcement to the presence of approximately 11 pounds of methamphetamine in the vehicle. $14,933.55 in cash was also seized.

This matter was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, South West Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, Council Bluffs Police Department, Clarinda Police Department, Audubon Police Department, Omaha Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Page County Sheriff’s Office, Audubon County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Intelligence, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.