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Hiawatha man pleads guilty to meth manufacturing

Man started fire while cooking meth in November 2013

Michael Lala
Michael Lala

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Hiawatha man who started a mobile home fire while cooking meth has pleaded guilty.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, 27-year-old Michael L.M. Lala has pleaded guilty to attempting to manufacture meth.

Under the plea agreement, Lala admitted to cooking meth numerous times between April 2012 and May 2014, as well as recruiting others to purchase pseudoephedrine in order to make meth. On one such occasion, Nov. 13, 2013, Lala was cooking meth in his mobile home when the bottle he was using tipped over and started a fire.

Authorities said a 14-year-old and the owner of the mobile home were in the mobile home when the fire started.

The fire started by the meth production destroyed Lala’s mobile home and “extensively damaged” five neighboring mobile homes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Additionally, three of those mobile homes were occupied at the time of the fire.

Lala faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, $100 in special assessments and a lifetime of supervised release following his prison sentence.

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