FD woman gets federal prison sentence for meth possession

Lara Pineda fled to Mexico before sentencing

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Fort Dodge woman who fled the country after pleading guilty to a federal drug charge has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Lara Pineda, 33, pleaded guilty in March 2017 to one count of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

The guilty plea was in connection to a search that was conducted on Pineda’s vehicle on Sept. 3, 2016, according to the United States attorney’s office, Northern District of Iowa.

Filings on the U.S. attorney’s office’s website indicated the incident happened in Franklin County.

During the search, approximately one pound of methamphetamine was found.

Pineda admitted during her guilty plea hearing that she intended to distribute the meth to another person.

However, after pleading guilty, the U.S. attorney’s office said Pineda fled to Mexico.

She was eventually arrested there by Mexican immigration agents in October 2017, and was later returned to Iowa, court filings indicated.

Pineda was sentenced in federal court in Cedar Rapids Tuesday to 210 months in prison, or more than 17 years.

The U.S. attorney’s office prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force and the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department.