December 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa said today (Monday), two southwest Iowa men were sentenced Friday in U-S District Court, to a combined 21 ½ years in prison for their participation in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeld says 45-year old Robert Gene Ott, Jr., of rural Imogene, and 24-year old Christopher Nicholas Smith, of rural Glenwood, received their sentences from Senior United States District Court Judge Ronald E. Longstaff.  Robert Ott, Jr. was sentenced to 168 months imprisonment, plus five (5) years of supervised release following his imprisonment, and ordered to pay $100 to the Crime Victim Fund. The Judge sentenced Christopher Smith to 90 months imprisonment, plus 3 years of supervised release following his imprisonment, and also ordered him to $100 to the Crime Victim Fund. Both men were ordered to remain in the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation of the Federal Bureau of Prison facility at which each will serve his sentence. 

On April 28th, 2011, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Ott, Smith and four other persons with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and associated charges in what has been referred to as “the Fisher Farm Case”. Each of the defendants had previously appeared in Federal Court in Council Bluffs and pled guilty to their respective role in the conspiracy. The “Fisher Farm” is an acreage located in rural Mills County where an estimated 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of pure methamphetamine was manufactured by several people from at least February of 2003, to May of 2011.  

Persons involved in the conspiracy were responsible for the theft of substantial quantities of anhydrous ammonia in southwest Iowa and for the purchase of pseudoephedrine from several stores in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, all of which were used to manufacture methamphetamine. In sentencing Christopher Smith, the Judge noted that under the federal sentencing guidelines, Smith was eligible for what is referred to as a “safety valve” reduction in his advisory sentence due to his lack of criminal history and the presence of other factors contained in the federal sentencing guidelines. 

Others previously sentenced in connection with the case were: Kirk Jason Hardman, Trent James Fischer, Jennifer Mae Biggerstaff, Timothy Earl Bendt, and Paul Leon Foster. Another person, Andru Alan Fisher is awaiting sentencing in the case.