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Belmond man faces up to life in prison on meth dealing charges

BELMOND —- A Belmond man has pleaded guilty to federal methamphetamine conspiracy charges.

The US Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa’s office says 29-year-old Rafael Perez-Mercado pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to distribute meth and possession with the intent to distribute meth. At a plea hearing, Perez-Mercado admitted that between September and October of last year, he and others were responsible for the distribution of over ten pounds of meth in the Wright County area.

Law enforcement in October intercepted a package from Mexico that was to be delivered to Perez-Mercado, with law enforcement later making a controlled delivery of the package to his residence. He was captured while exiting the rear of his residence as a law enforcement agent attempted to make contact with him at the front door.

Law enforcement seized nine one-pound packages of meth from a bag dropped by Perez-Mercado as he attempted to flee. Later the same day during the execution of a search warrant at his residence, law enforcement seized two more one-pound packages of meth from inside a statue delivered to Perez-Mercado.

Perez-Mercado faces from 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine when he is sentenced at a later date.

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