SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A Sioux City man has been found guilty following an arrest in 2020 where officials had informants buy drugs in Dickinson County.

A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice stated Carmelo Valdez Romero, 35, of Sioux City, was convicted after being found guilty by a jury for possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

The release stated on March 17, 2020, Valdez Romero helped other people in removing 20 one-pound packages of meth hidden in the gas tank of a rental vehicle. The vehicle had been from California originally but was taken to rural Dickinson County for meth dealing.

Evidence alleged Valdez Romero removed the rear seats of the rental vehicle while in a machine shed, along with the fuel pump and equipment attached to the gas tank. He also helped take the meth out of the two-part gas tank.

A search warrant was served, and law enforcement discovered 15 pounds of meth inside a safe in the shed. Five pounds of meth were found near the property, and one pound was found in a vehicle driven by Valdez Romero. Officials seized $700 from Valdez Romero and $900 from two other occupants. The money was pre-serialized so confidential informants could buy meth from Valdez Romero’s associate.

Valdez Romero has not been sentenced as of March 1, 2022. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release.             

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City.