After a four-day trial in federal court in Sioux City, Juan Lopez-Zuniga, 50, of Denison, was convicted by a jury on February 7 for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
The verdict was returned following about three hours of jury deliberations.
The evidence at the trial showed that Lopez-Zuniga was involved in a conspiracy that distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine from October 2015 through September 2016 out of the Denison area.
Evidence showed that Lopez-Zuniga traveled with fellow coconspirators (some of whom have already been convicted for their participation) from Denison to Worthington, Minnesota, to deliver half-pound quantities of meth for further distribution in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. Lopez-Zuniga would then return to Denison with money from the drug sales.
Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.
Lopez-Zuniga was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the verdict was returned and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.