In a case that has ties to area counties, a Minnesota man who conspired across multiple states to distribute methamphetamine while possessing a firearm, was sentenced this past Friday in Sioux City Federal Court to serve more than 24 years in prison.
32-year-old Shawn Gaston of Fairmont, Minnesota previously pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession With Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.
According to evidence presented at plea and sentencing hearings, Gaston and others distributed approximately 27 pounds of meth across northern Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin from February of 2020 through October 2021. In October of 2021, law enforcement in Clay County attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle Gaston was operating. Gaston led law enforcement on a lengthy high-speed pursuit, and his vehicle ultimately crashed into a creek in Dickinson County. Gaston exited the vehicle after the crash and attempted to dispose of a gun and methamphetamine prior to being apprehended. The gun and meth were found about 20 yards from where the vehicle crashed.
Gaston was in Iowa to collect on a drug debt that was owed to him. He has multiple prior felony convictions which prohibited him from legally possessing guns, including Possession of Stolen Property and Possession of Drugs.
Gaston remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshal until he can be transported to a federal prison.