4 sentenced in marijuana trafficking conspiracy in eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

4 sentenced in marijuana trafficking conspiracy in eastern Iowa

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

An extensive DEA wiretap investigation has led to prison sentences for four more defendants in a marijuana-trafficking conspiracy.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Cedar Rapids say those sentenced include a man who grew marijuana at his Colorado home, then flew it to eastern Iowa in his private airplane.

Mark Swanson, 55, of Breckenridge, Colorado, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined $10,000.

That is in addition to a $35,000 money judgment Swanson was ordered to pay.

His airplane was also forfeited.

James Allen, 53, from Belton, Missouri, was sentenced to 6 months in prison followed by 3 months home detention.

Matthew Fritz, 39, from Cedar Rapids, was sentenced to 5 years probation and fined $3,000.

Cory Kintzel, 39, from Vinton, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

All 4 men were part of about a dozen people charged for their involvement in a marijuana trafficking ring that moved marijuana from Colorado and California to the Cedar Rapids area from Nov. 2011-April 2013.

A DEA investigation involving court-authorized wiretaps on multiple cellular phones dismantled the ring.

Federal officials say during the latter stages of the conspiracy, Swanson was the source for most of the marijuana.

In March 2013, he flew a load containing 25 pounds of marijuana from Colorado into the Iowa City airport.

Swanson was accompanied by Shannon Ehlts, who along with Matthew Fritz was going to sell the marijuana to customers in the Cedar Rapids area.

Swanson grew most of this marijuana at his home.

The marijuana was sold at a price of $3,450 or more per pound.

Swanson admitted that he alone had made at least $35,000 from growing and selling marijuana.

Five others have already been sentenced in the investigation:

Nels Nelson, 34, of Cedar Rapids, was sentenced 3 1/2 years in prison.

Chad Straub, 40, of Salinas, California, was sentenced to 13 months' and one day in prison.

Robert Leonard, 55, of Oak Run, California, was sentenced nearly 4 years in prison.

Brenda Leonard, 51, of Oak Run, California, was sentenced to 2 years probation.

Tyler Scheer, 26, of Cedar Rapids, was sentenced to 9 months in prison and fined $3,000.

Three people still await sentencing:

Jesse Tolen, 36, of Castella, California, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 15 for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Corey Marx, 29, of Cedar Rapids, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 15 for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Shannon Ehlts, 38, of Lowden, awaits sentencing for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

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