JANESVILLE — A Janesville man was sentenced to federal prison after a jury found him guilty of participating in a drug ring that trafficked meth through FedEx, concealed in car-part boxes.

Robert Lewis, 44, of Janesville was sentenced to 360 months, or 30 years, in prison during a sentencing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. He also must serve five years of supervised release after his prison term.

A jury found him guilty in August of 2018 of conspiring to distribute at least 500 grams of a “mixture of methamphetamine,” and 50 grams of “actual methamphetamine,” according to the court.

Jury convicts Janesville man in meth investigation

According to trial evidence, Lewis began working with “various individuals” in the summer of 2013 to distribute ice methamphetamine “throughout the Waterloo area.”

Prosecutors in his 2018 trial said Lewis took over part of another man’s drug operation when that man fled to Mexico to avoid prison in the United States.

Lewis and others obtained meth from Michael Pineda in California, and it was shipped through FedEx hidden in car part boxes.

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Lewis received two or three pounds a week, and he and others broke the meth down into smaller quantities for sale, servicing the man customers.

Lewis also had his daughter register a car for the unnamed “head of the drug organization,” according to court records, and allowed other people involved in the ring to use his home as a “clubhouse” to break down and distribute the drug.

Lewis left Iowa in the fall of 2013 but continued to receive meth from his co-conspirators, according to court records. In one instance, FedEx flagged a package from one of those co-conspirators to Lewis as being “suspicious,” and found a quarter of an ounce of meth inside a “Hamburger Skillet prepared meal box,” according to court records.

After his trial, Lewis was also found to have obstructed justice by threatening multiple witnesses who testified, including telling one that he “was a dead man,” according to court records.

A federal grand jury handed up indictments charging Lewis, Michael Pineda, Samuel Arias, Brandon Neil Harders, Janeth Pineda, and Jeffery “Slim” Westberg in November 2017. Michael and Janeth Pineda, Arias, Harders, and Westberg all pleaded guilty in 2018.

Six indicted in eastern Iowa meth, money laundering probe

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Staff Writer

Staff writer at The Courier 2005 (college intern), 2007-2012, 2015-present. Graduate of UNI 2006. Three-time Iowa APME award winner (investigative reporting 2008, lifestyle feature 2016, business feature 2018)

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