Essing admits to distributing meth in Fort Dodge area

A Fort Dodge man has pleaded guilty to methamphetamine charges in United States District Court.

Craig E. Essing, 59, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine Nov. 26 in federal court in Sioux City, according to the United States attorney’s office, Northern District of Iowa.

Essing admitted during his plea hearing that he and others distributed more than 100 pounds of meth in the Fort Dodge area from June 2015 through September 2017.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Essing obtained the drugs from sources in Des Moines that were meant to be distributed in the Fort Dodge area.

A search warrant executed at Essing’s home on Sept. 8, 2017, led to officers seizing approximately 14 ounces of meth, 11 guns, $4,900 in cash, three digital scales, packaging materials, other drug paraphernalia and numerous rounds of ammunition, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Essing will be sentenced at a date to be determined.

He faces at least 10 years in prison, and up to life in prison.

The case was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s laboratory, Iowa State Patrol, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Fort Dodge Police Department and the Central Iowa Drug Task Force.