OTTUMWA — For almost two years, members of several law enforcement agencies have been hard at work in and around Ottumwa trying to crack down on drug trafficking.
Since July 2012, the agencies have been conducting an investigation into a multi-layered methamphetamine drug trafficking organization in the Ottumwa area, according to a press release issued by the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force on Tuesday. Thus far, the investigation has landed multiple arrests, and officers have been able to seize a large amount of illegal drugs.
According to the news release, the agencies conducted approximately 27 controlled transactions of methamphetamine on multiple defendants. The transactions ranged in quantity from less than one gram up to one ounce.
Thanks to the controlled transactions, officers were able to obtain search warrants for many areas of interest around Ottumwa. On June 15, 2013, a search warrant was executed at a public storage facility in the city, and, according to the press release, it was a suspected “stash” location of methamphetamine.
Officers were able to seize 33 pounds of methamphetamine from the storage facility, the news release said, and then more search warrants were obtained for several homes in Ottumwa and the surrounding area.
On June 19, 2013, according to the press release, officers took enforcement action against the drug trafficking organization by executing search warrants at three residences. In Ottumwa, the homes of Michael McManus, 36, 328 S. Tacoma Ave., and Terry Young, 60, 122 N. James St., and in Newton the home of Brian Carmer, 36, 122 W. 10th St., were all searched.
From the homes the officers were able to seize approximately one ounce of methamphetamine, scales, drug packaging materials, drug paraphernalia, drug ledgers, approximately $37,000, four vehicles, a motorcycle and other items thanks to the search warrants. Seizure warrants were also executed on two bank accounts, according to the press release, which resulted in freezing approximately $13,000.