Nicholas James Thomas, 26, of Independence pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, a Class C Felony, in the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Thomas was sentenced to 10 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of one-third before becoming parole eligible. His sentence runs consecutive to the 5 year prison sentence he began to serve on January 6, 2015 for another drug-related offense. Thomas was also sentenced to a fine of $1,000.00, surcharge of $350.00, Law Enforcement Initiative surcharge of $125.00, Drug Abuse Resistance Education surcharge of $10.00, and must pay court courts and court-appointed attorney fees. Thomas’ driver’s license will also be revoked for 180 days; he must complete substance abuse treatment and provide a physical specimen for DNA profiling.
Kelsey Renee Hartsoe, 22, of Independence pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, a Class C Felony, in the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 19, 2015. Hartsoe faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.00.
The charges against Thomas and Hartsoe arose following the discovery of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in their apartment located at 1826 ½ First Street West in Independence by the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office and Independence Police Department on November 5, 2014.
See official Buchanan County Attorney's Office Press Release.