Public Safety

Dubuque man sentenced to 20 years for distributing multiple pounds of ice meth

Derek Richard Rath
Derek Richard Rath

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Dubuque man convicted of distributing multiple pounds of ice methamphetamine and shipping large quantities of cash to his business partner to conceal his proceeds was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in federal prison.

Derek Richard Rath, 35, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

During a previous hearing, evidence showed Rath received several “multipound” shipments of ice methamphetamine through UPS, which he then sold in Dubuque. Prosecutors said a co-conspirator, Anthony McCarron, mailed the meth from Phoenix, Ariz., to Rath between September 2016 to June 2017.

Rath also shipped large quantities of cash to McCarron to pay for the shipments.

During the plea hearing, Rath admitted that he and McCarron used aliases when shipping the drugs and money.

U.S. District Chief Judge Leonard Strand gave Rath, who faced 30 years in prison based on advisory guideline sentencing, a break based on a different conversion for quantity of drugs and factoring in Rath’s history of mental issues and drug addiction, as well as hearing sealed testimony from the prosecutor.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Drew Inman pointed out the operation started in 2016 and continued into 2017, and Rath’s mental health issues or addiction didn’t seem to hinder his drug trafficking that involved thousands of dollars.

Rath, tearing up, apologized to his family and community. He said knew he had to take responsibility for his crime but regrets not being able to see his daughter graduate.


He also said it wasn’t his intention to get back involved with drugs after being released from prison in 2016, saying he wanted to be a “better man.”

Strand noted this was a significant drug-dealing operation, in which Rath sold 50 pounds of “poison” — referring to ice methamphetamine — in Dubuque.

Strand also order Rath to serve 10 years of supervised release following his prison time.

McCarron pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering last October.

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