Rhonda Habbena-Apfel

Rhonda Habbena-Apfel

WATERLOO – The husband of a Waterloo woman who was found dead following her disappearance in May has been found guilty of drug charges.

A Black Hawk County jury on Thursday found Monte Allen Apfel, 54, guilty of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of diazepam with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of alprazolam, possession of marijuana and violation of the drug tax stamp act.

According to court records, Waterloo police stopped Monte Apfel’s Chevrolet Camaro for a traffic violation on July 29, 2016. During the stop, Loki, a K-9 with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, indicated the presence of drugs in the car’s dashboard area.

In the stereo insert space inside the dash, authorities found 79 grams of meth and 19 grams of a cutting agent, which if combined would place the street valued of the drugs at about $10,000, said Assistant County Attorney Jeremy Westendorf, who prosecuted the case. Officers also found more than 200 diazepam pills.

At trial, the defense argued that Monte Apfel didn’t know the drugs were in the car, which he had purchased two days before the traffic stop. Westendorf said police also found a drug ledger in the glove compartment that contained a signed note from his wife, Rhonda.

Sentencing will be at a later date, and the meth charge carries up to 75 years in prison with a one-third mandatory minimum.

Rhonda Apfel, 47, was the subject of a search in May and June 2017 after she disappeared, and her motorcycle was found parked at the Bruggeman Wildlife Area near the Wapsipinicon River northeast of Dunkerton.

She was reported missing May 29, and her body was discovered June 16 in the river west of Littleton. An autopsy determined she had drowned, but the matter of death and date of death weren’t determined, according to her death certificate.

Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputies said they don’t suspect any foul play in her death. Information about her death was kept from jurors during Monte Apfel’s trial.

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Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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