OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska reported weekly sentencing updates.
US Attorney Jan Sharp’s office in Omaha reminds the public that there is no parole in the federal system.
Derek Hartford, 33, of Grand Island, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge John M. Gerrard to 10 years for possession of methamphetamine and marijuana with intent to distribute. In an investigation with the Nebraska State Patrol and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force, officials say Hartford was previously convicted for possession with intent to distribute meth. During a search at his place in August 2020, investigators discovered drug packaging paraphernalia, marijuana, and at least 13 grams of actual meth according to the release. It’s reported Hartford was arrested later that day and he admitted to selling meth.
Jorge Sardinas, 49, of Hastings, was sentenced last Friday by Judge John M. Gerrard to 10 years for distribution of methamphetamine. In an investigation with the Hastings Police Department and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force, it’s reported Sardinas sold meth to a confidential informant at least twice last year. During a traffic stop in July 2021, officials found two small vials of meth weighing a total of 11.54 grams according to the release. The release further states he was previously convicted at the time for conspiracy to distribute meth.
Robbie Rodriguez, 36, of Grand Island, was sentenced last Wednesday by Judge John M. Gerrard to six years for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In an investigation with the Nebraska State Patrol and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force, officers had a search warrant to Rodriguez’s home and discovered nine grams of pure meth, marijuana, a scale, packaging material, a pistol, and other items drug paraphernalia according to the release. It’s reported they also found evidence of drug distribution and officers were initially notified of his place after getting tips of possible child abuse.
Alicia Elliott, 32, of Holdrege, was sentenced last Wednesday by Judge John M. Gerrard to five years for distribution of meth. In an investigation with the Nebraska State Patrol and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force, it’s reported Elliott sold meth to a confidential informant on two occasions in November 2018. The release states the informant bought 14.4 grams from her in Kearney then a week later they bought 25.8 grams from her in Elm Creek.
Vallen Bateman, 36, of Hastings, was sentenced last Friday by Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. to five and a half years for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. In an investigation with the Grand Island Police Department and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force, Bateman was present during a federal warrant arrest of a man in Grand Island in Sept. 2020 involving distributing meth. According to the release she was also arrested and had an active warrant out of Howard County. Officials say she admitted to having marijuana in her backpack and during a search police found 80 grams of meth, a scale, and 13 grams of marijuana.
Johnathan Featherstone, 28, of Iowa, was sentenced last Friday by Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. to over a year for escape from custody. In an investigation with the US Marshals Service, Featherstone had a weekend home pass for about two days in Nov. 2019 to visit family in Honey Creek, Iowa. It’s reported he didn’t return to the halfway house which was required. He was convicted in Dec. 2016 for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Kirk Tildon Foster, 52, formerly of Texas, was sentenced last Friday by Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. to about 10 months to a term of imprisonment of time served for failing to register as a sex offender. In an investigation by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the US Marshals Service, Foster is required to register as a sex offender after his Jan. 2006 conviction for possession of child porn in Texas. It’s reported a Douglas County deputy got an anonymous tip last August that Foster was living in Omaha. Officials say at this time he didn’t register in Nebraska. According to the release, after getting in contact with Foster, he told the deputy he’s been living in Nebraska for about two and a half weeks, then said it was two and half months. During the investigation, it was discovered Foster was living in Nebraska for about five months since early May 2021.
Edward J. Barta, 46, of Omaha, was sentenced last Friday by Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. to a year and a half for possessing firearms as a drug user. In an investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, officials say Barta was identified when buying pills using Bitcoin on the dark web. It’s reported the investigators blocked a package that is believed to have oxycodone pills sent to Barta and received a search warrant for his place. Officials discovered more pills, a pill grinder, two guns, and a rifle during the search. According to the release, he told investigators he ordered 100 oxycodone pills from a dark web vendor for $800 and that he had made about 10 previous orders of about 60-80 pills per order. The release states he said he took three pills daily to manage chronic neck pain. Lab testing showed that some of the pills that are believed to be oxycodone were actually fentanyl.
James Long, 34, of Omaha was sentenced Friday by Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. to 10 years in prison for transporting child pornography. He will serve another five years of supervised release after the end of his imprisonment. Officials say Long uploaded child pornography to his Google account on at least two occasions in 2015 and 2018. A search warrant was conducted at his home in Omaha in 2019. Agents allegedly found roughly 41,000 images and 11,000 videos of child pornography on his devices.
Jacob A. Brun, 35, of Council Bluffs was sentenced Friday by Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. to 84 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance. According to officials, Brun was driving in Dec. 2019 and was stopped by police when he was identified as the driver. He had multiple outstanding warrants at the time. Brunly allegedly refused to stop his car and rammed it into an FBI vehicle. Brun was then surrounded by law enforcement and allegedly refused to get out of the car before the police shattered the window and removed him. Officers searched the car and allegedly found a handgun under the driver’s seat. A search warrant conducted at his home also allegedly revealed he had a sawed-off shotgun and controlled substances.
Tess Kleinknecht, 31, of Doniphan, Neb. was sentenced Friday by Judge John M. Gerrard to 77 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Kleinknecht will serve four years of supervised release later. According to officials, in July 2020, officers went to a Grand Island home to arrest someone for methamphetamine charges. Kleinknecht was at the home at the time the officers arrived. Officers obtained a search warrant and allegedly found three bags of meth and distribution paraphernalia belonging to Kleinknecht. A lab analyst allegedly confirmed there to be more than five grams of pure meth.
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