A Waterloo man has been sentenced to serve nearly 29 years in federal prison for drug trafficking.

Travis Werkmeister received the prison term Monday after pleading guilty in February to a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to federal prosecutors, the 34-year-old Werkmeister was involved in a drug-distribution organization that imported meth from Mexico to Iowa.

Evidence presented at the plea and sentencing hearings showed that undercover agents bought ounce-quantities of methamphetamine from Werkmeister at his Waterloo home in 2018. According to a news release from the U-S Attorney's Office, investigators tapped Weskmeister's phone in 2019 and intercepted thousands of calls and messages between Werkmeister and others involved in the Mexico-based drug-distribution organization. Federal officials said Werkmeister was caught discussing methamphetamine shipments with co-conspirators, one of whom was the group's leader.

Investigators determined that Werkmeister would receive pound-to-kilogram quantities of meth at a time. Authorities said Werkmeister would redistribute the shipments to multiple people in Waterloo, who would then sell to others.

Court records show Werkmeister was one of 13 people arrested a year ago after a dozen locations in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Roland and Marshalltown were searched as part of the drug-trafficking investigation.

Werkmeister was sentenced to 346 months of imprisonment. After completing the prison term, he also must serve a five-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

Werkmeister has a lengthy criminal history, dating back to 2005. Court records indicate that he's been convicted of felonies at least three times over the past 17 years.

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