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Cedar Rapids leader of large-scale meth ring sentenced to 30 years

After being convicted in state court, he continued to distribute drugs

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man who authorities believe was the leader of a large-scale drug trafficking ring was sentenced Friday to 30 years in federal prison.

George Patrick Ashby, 62, was convicted last year of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Court documents say he distributed a significant amount of methamphetamine in the Cedar Rapids area from 2018 to March 2020, but he also sold heroin.

Ashby admitted to investigators that his methamphetamine supply came from Fort Madison, Burlington and another town in Iowa.

In May 2019, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for his home and conducted a traffic stop, according to court documents, where authorities found more than 69 grams of pure meth and $3,826 in cash. .

Ashby told authorities he received “loads” of methamphetamine from his cousin in Burlington, and that he had something “big” coming in a few days, according to the documents.

In September 2019, another traffic stop on Ashby resulted in the recovery of over 50 grams of methamphetamine and over $1,000 in cash. He was convicted in Linn County District Court for the latter offence.

Ashby was arrested by police in March 2020 in a Burlington parking lot where officers found 4 grams of ice cold meth and a stolen firearm. He told officers the stolen firearm “could be traced to a murder that occurred in Cedar Rapids a year ago,” court documents say.

Two others, Corey Lowery, 42, of Burlington, and Henry Eilders, 42, of Cedar Rapids, worked with Ashby and were convicted of the conspiracy.

Ashby has a lengthy criminal history dating back to the age of 24, according to court documents. He had at least 16 adult convictions, including felonies related to theft, forgery, felon in possession of a firearm and federal convictions for drug-related crimes.

Prosecutors, in a paper arguing against a lower prison sentence, said Ashby had not accepted responsibility for his role in the conspiracy. He showed no remorse and did not specify the quantity and purity of the methamphetamine he distributed during the crime. Ashby also “fraudulently” denied selling heroin during the conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge CJ Williams sentenced Ashby to 30 years in prison and ordered him to serve five years of supervised release after his prison sentence.

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