Man gets federal prison for Jan. meth bust in Kearney

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 2:41 PM CDT
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United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Chief United States District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Jose Santos-Zepeda today to 76 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

Santos-Zepeda, age 20, of Sinaloa, Mexico, is the last defendant to be sentenced in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. He will be removed from the United States to Mexico by immigration authorities upon completion of his sentence, to be served at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

In January 2019, investigators received information from the Nebraska State Penitentiary regarding possible drug activity involving Dustin and Hannah Pauly, brother and sister, of Kearney, Nebraska. At the time, Dustin Pauly was an inmate at the Penitentiary, and Hannah Pauly resided in Kearney with the defendant. Investigators determined that Hannah Pauly received a parcel containing several pounds of methamphetamine at the residence she shared with the defendant. The delivery of the parcel was coordinated by Dustin Pauly while he was incarcerated.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search the residence shared by defendant and Hannah Pauly and recovered five bundles of methamphetamine in varying quantities located throughout the house, totaling close to five 5 pounds. It was determined that some of the methamphetamine came from the parcel, and several additional ounces were found within the defendant’s bedroom. The defendant and Hannah Pauly were arrested.

On August 15, 2019, Chief Judge Gerrard sentenced co-defendant Dustin Pauly to a term of imprisonment of 262 months as a result of his role in the methamphetamine delivery, and on October 17, 2019, he sentenced Hannah Pauly to a term of imprisonment of 70 months for her role in the conspiracy.

The case was primarily investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol, the Kearney Police Department, and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force.

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