The Ottumwa Courier

January 16, 2013

Another motion dismissed in Eldon man’s drug trafficking case

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

ELDON — An Eldon man charged in a drug trafficking case last year tried again to take trial information off the table, but his request was again denied.

On Dec. 17, the court reviewed 51-year-old Ronald Wayne Conrad’s motion to suppress four search warrants and items seized during those searches last year. His request was ultimately denied.

The same day, the court also heard Conrad’s motion to dismiss one of the counts against him, “commission of specified unlawful activity,” commonly referred to as “ongoing criminal conduct,” a Class B felony.

The charge includes offenses committed for financial gain on a continuing basis that is punishable under state law.

Conrad asserted that the charge was unconstitutional and in violation of his due process rights.

In this case, Conrad argued that the allegations contained in the trial information do not constitute a “preparatory or completed offense, committed for financial gain on a continuing basis.”

A charge of ongoing criminal conduct requires proof of a course of criminal activity as opposed to an isolated or one-time act, according to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Conrad alleged that the trial information was deficient because it didn’t specify at least two distinct offenses allegedly committed by him and the relationship between them.

“It is true that the trial information only identifies one specific drug transaction — his purchase of 70 pounds of marijuana for $65,000 in cash on Feb. 16,” according to court documents. “The remainder of the allegations refer to evidence law enforcement seized at Conrad’s home.”

But after reviewing the information, the court decided it does adequately charge Conrad with ongoing criminal conduct, even though it doesn’t include every particular of the charge.

The court found that Conrad’s motion was not a proper “motion to dismiss,” since it only challenges the sufficiency of the state’s evidence and his request was denied.