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Mallard Man Enters Guilty Plea In Federal Methamphetamine Case

By Staff | Apr 15, 2008

SIOUX CITY – A Mallard mad entered a guilty plea in the United States District Court on federal drug charges. United States Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth says Kenneth Putensen entered a guilty plea to conspiracy charges on Thursday, April 3.

According to court documents, Kenneth Putensen, 41, was convicted of one count of having been previously convicted of two felony drug offenses, and then conspiring to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, as well as to distribute and possess pseudoephedrine knowing that it would be used to manufacture meth and to possess pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

During a plea hearing in the U.S. District Court in Sioux City, Putensen admitted that from late 2005 through July of 2007, he and others did manufacture and distribute more than 150 grams of meth in Palo Alto and Clay counties. Evidence in court documents showed that Putensen purchased large quantities of pseudoephedrine in both Minnesota and Iowa.

Putensen was previously convicted of felony Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute back in 1990 in Minnehaha County, SD, and in the United States Federal Court for the Northern District of Iowa in July of 1997 on charges of Consspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Marijuana.

A sentencing hearing for Putensen was set for 3 p.m. on June 23 in the U.S. District Court in Sioux City before U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett. Until that time, Putensen remains in the custody of the United States Marshal’s Service. With his guilty plea, Putensen faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment under the “Third Strike” provisions because of his two prior felony convictions. Putensen also faces an eight million dollar fine, $100 special assessment and up to 10 years supervised release should he ever be released from prison.

Prosecution of Putensen was carried out by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Fletcher. The case was initially investigated by the Palo Alto, Clay, O’Brien and Dickinson County Sheriff’s Offices, along with the Martin County Minnesota and Fairmont, Minnesota, Police Department. Also assisting in the investigation was the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the United States Marshals Service and the Martin County, Minnesota County Attorney’s Office.