Belmond man sentenced to ten years in prison on federal meth trafficking charges

BELMOND — A Belmond man has been sentenced to ten years in prison on federal methamphetamine trafficking charges.

The US Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa’s office says 29-year-old Rafael Perez-Mercado pleaded guilty on April 16th to conspiracy to distribute meth and possession with the intent to distribute meth. Prosecutors say evidence showed that between September and October of last year, Perez-Mercado and others were responsible for the distribution of over ten pounds of meth in the Wright County area.

On October 8th, law enforcement intercepted a package mailed from Mexico that had two pounds of meth concealed inside, destined to be delivered to Perez-Mercado. On October 22nd, law enforcement used a confidential informant to make a controlled delivery of the package to Perez-Mercado at this home. After the delivery, one law enforcement agent captured Perez-Mercado exiting the rear door of his house as another agent attempted to make contact with him at the front door. Law enforcement seized nine one-pound packages of meth from a bag he was carrying.

During an execution of a search warrant at the home, law enforcement seized two more one-pound packages that had been hidden inside a statue which was inside the package delivered to Perez-Mercado. Law enforcement also found other evidence of meth smuggling, including inside motor vehicle components, in Perez-Mercado’s garage.

US District Court Chief Judge Leonard Strand sentenced Perez-Mercado on Friday to 120 months in prison to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release.

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