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Monday, June 4, 2018

Conspiracy to distribute cocaine results in prison sentence for three codefendants

Friday, June 1, 2018, in Muscatine County District Court:

JAVIER LOPEZ, 52, of West Liberty, JOEL RODRIGUEZ RIOS, 37, of West Liberty, and DANIEL CANCINO, 24, of Muscatine were sentenced after pleading guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine. RIOS and CANCINO each received a sentence of imprisonment for a term not to exceed 25 years. LOPEZ received a sentence of not to exceed 15 years. The case was investigated by the Muscatine County Drug Task Force.

LOPEZ's mugshot:



RIOS's mugshot:



CANCINO's mugshot:


Today, June 4, 2018, in Muscatine County District Court:

CODY DENEVE, 31, of Moline, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to deliver as a habitual offender. DENEVE was the driver of a motor vehicle stopped by a Muscatine County Sheriff's Deputy. A search of the vehicle revealed that he was in possession of eight capsules containing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. DENEVE has two prior drug trafficking felony convictions.

DENEVE's mugshot:


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Arrest made in 1992 murder near West Liberty


Today, May 31, 2018, Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren announced that an arrest had been made in the October 13, 1992 murder of Corey Wieneke at his residence in rural Muscatine County near the town of West Liberty. After an investigation by the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation a criminal complaint was filed and an arrest warrant issued for ANNETTE DEE CAHILL, age 55, of Tipton, Iowa. CAHILL was arrested today at her residence without incident. A copy of the complaint may be found here.

CAHILL has been charged with murder in the first degree. This offense is a class “A” felony punishable by imprisonment for the remainder of her life without parole. CAHILL is being held in the Muscatine County Jail. The bond on the arrest warrant is set at $ 1,000,000. CAHILL will make her initial appearance tomorrow, June 1, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. before a judge at the Muscatine County Courthouse.

A press conference will be held at the Muscatine County Attorney’s Office at 420 E. Third Street, Muscatine, at 10:30 a.m. on June 1, 2018. County Attorney Ostergren, Muscatine County Sheriff C.J. Ryan, and Iowa DCI Special Agent in Charge Richard Rahn will be in attendance.

The criminal charge is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed to be innocent.

CAHILL's mugshot:


Note: updated 5/31/2018 at 6:10 p.m. to include mugshot and correct spelling of victim's last name. 

Prison sentence for sexual abuse of child

Today, May 31, 2018, CARLOS AUGUSTO RAMIREZ LOPEZ, 40, of Iowa City, was sentenced to an indeterminate term of not to exceed 25 years for the offense of sexual abuse in the second degree. He had been convicted at a jury trial in March, 2018.

The case was investigated by the West Liberty Police Department. The incident occurred in September, 2011. The evidence at trial demonstrated that RAMIREZ LOPEZ performed a sex act against a nine-year-old girl. The case was investigated by the West Liberty Police Department.

The defendant will be required to serve 17.5 years of the sentence before being eligible for parole. He will be on lifetime supervised release as if on parole following the completion of his prison sentence. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

The defendant's mugshot:


In other matters:

JESSIE HILL, 27, of Muscatine, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. On March 14, 2018, Muscatine Police Department officers executed a search warrant at a Muscatine residence seeking to take HILL into custody. HILL had escaped from the work release facility in Davenport, Iowa maintained by the Iowa Department of Correctional Services. During execution of the warrant officers discovered that HILL was in possession of a loaded handgun. HILL was previously convicted of the felony offense of burglary. He will be sentenced July 27, 2018, at 9:45 a.m.

HILL's mugshot:


EMMANUEL HOWARD, 18, of Davenport, pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon. On March 25, 2018, HOWARD fired a handgun at two people standing on an elevated porch at a multi-family residential building. No one was injured by the gunshot. HOWARD was taken into custody shortly thereafter and was found in possession of the firearm. He will be sentenced July 27, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

HOWARD's mugshot:



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Muscatine man convicted of burglary and domestic abuse charges

Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren announced today (May 30, 2018) that BRYAN GIOVANNI BEJARANO-MORENO, 24, of Muscatine, was found guilty after a two-day jury trial of burglary in the first degree and domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury.

The evidence at trial showed that BEJARANO broke into the residence of his estranged wife and waited for her to return home. When she did he assaulted her by striking her with his hands, feet, and household objects. Muscatine Police Department officers responded to a welfare check at the residence and interrupted the assault.

BEJARANO will be sentenced July 27, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. He is being held in the Muscatine County Jail without bond awaiting sentencing.

"I would like to thank the work of the Muscatine Police Deparment in investigating this case" said Ostergren. "They intervened to prevent more harm to the victim and provided me with the evidence needed to successfully prosecute this case," Ostergren added. "Finally, I would like to thank the victim who showed great strength during both the assault and in follow through the criminal justice process."

The defendant faces a mandatory sentence of imprisonment for a term not to exceed 25 years on the burglary charge and a one-year sentence on the domestic abuse charge.

BEJARANO's mugshot:


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Guilty plea to domestic abuse and firearm charges

Today, May 9, 2018, in Muscatine County District Court:

RAMIRO ISAAC MORALES, 34, of Muscatine pleaded guilty to domestic abuse assault as a second offense and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The Muscatine Police Department responded to an incident on February 25, 2018, where MORALES was observed striking the mother of his two minor children. During subsequent investigation officers located two handguns in a bag that contained an article of mail addressed to MORALES. One of the firearms was determined to be stolen. MORALES was convicted of the felony offense of sexual abuse in the third degree in 2003.

The sentencing of MORALES will be scheduled at a later date. MORALES also admitted that he violated the terms of probation in two prior cases. The plea agreement calls for consecutive sentences for the new offenses and his probation violations for a total term of not to exceed 13.5 years. He remains in the Muscatine County Jail pending sentencing.

His mugshot:


Monday, May 7, 2018

Robbery of pharmacy results in prison sentence

Today, May 7, 2018, in Muscatine County District Court:

MICHAEL JASON WILLIAMS, 30, of Burlington, pleaded guilty to robbery in the second degree as a habitual offender. The charges against him were the result of an investigation by the Wilton Police Department into a December 29, 2017, robbery of a pharmacy in Wilton, Iowa. The defendant took products containing pseudoephedrine and threatened employees with violence in order to escape the scene.

WILLIAMS waived his right to a delay for sentencing and was sentenced to an indeterminate term not to exceed 15 years. He will be required to serve 7.5 years of the sentence before being eligible for parole. His mugshot:



In other recent dispositions:

MATTHEW RAY MASON, 31, of Muscatine pleaded guilty to theft in the second degree. An investigation by the Muscatine Police Department revealed that he was in possession of a stolen motorcycle. He will be sentenced June 29, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

MASON's mugshot:




GILBERTO DANIEL CASTILLO III, 22, of Muscatine, pleaded guilty to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and delivery of cocaine. The charges were the result of an investigation by the Muscatine County Drug Task Force. He will be sentenced June 29, 2018, at 9:45 a.m.

CASTILLO's mugshot:


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

County Attorney Appointed to Task Force to Review Rules of Criminal Procedure

April 4, 2018

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady entered an order yesterday (April 3, 2018) creating and appointing members to the Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure Review Task Force. The task force will be chaired by Associate Justice Edward Mansfield. Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren is one of the 17 members of the task force.

The task force's mission is to conduct a comprehensive review of the rules governing criminal cases in Iowa courts. The task force is asked to make recommendations to the Iowa Supreme Court for amending and updating the rules as well as promulgating any new rules that might be needed.

"I am honored to be appointed to this committee by the Chief Justice" said Ostergren. "As a prosecutor I deal with these rules every day. They regulate the process by which we seek to achieve justice for crime victims and the community in general. I look forward to getting to work on this important effort" he continued.

Ostergren is currently serving his second term as Muscatine County Attorney and has been a prosecutor for 20 years. He is a past-president of the Iowa County Attorneys Association and is on the board of directors of the National District Attorneys Association. He serves as co-chair of the NDAA's committee on Legislation, Policy, and Public Relations.