Mexican Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Immigration, Drug and Firearm Charges

DAVENPORT, Iowa — On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, United States District Court Judge
Stephanie M. Rose sentenced Ismael Salazar Montes, age 30, of Nogales Sonora, Mexico, to 160
months in prison for Illegal Reentry, Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances,
and Illegal Alien in Possession of Firearm and Ammunition announced Acting United States
Attorney Richard D. Westphal. Following his prison term, Salazar Montes was ordered to serve
five years of supervised release and pay $300 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.
The investigation began in October 2019, when law enforcement stopped Salazar Montes’s
vehicle in Mount Pleasant. After stopping the vehicle, law enforcement had a canine conduct a sniff
of the vehicle, resulting in an alert as to the presence of narcotics. As officers searched the vehicle,
Salazar Montes admitted he had a handgun in his suitcase. Officers searched the suitcase and located
an unloaded, nine-millimeter Ruger handgun. Salazar Montes admitted he did not have a permit for
the firearm and knew he could not lawfully possess the firearm because he was not legally present
in the United States. A search of the backseat of the vehicle revealed a cooler where officers located
three bags of controlled substances—812.8 grams of methamphetamine, 958.7 grams of heroin, and
307.27 grams of fentanyl. Salazar Montes admitted he placed the controlled substances in the cooler
and was transporting them from Tucson, Arizona to Chicago, Illinois.
This matter was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigrations and
Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Agency, Mount Pleasant Police Department, and the
Henry County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office
for the Southern District of Iowa.