First sentence handed down in Forest City drug bust

Valerie O'Dell Valerie O'Dell

Two defendants still awaiting trial. A third had pleaded guilty in federal court.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 1:57 PM

FOREST CITY, Iowa – The first of four defendants is sentenced for a Winnebago County drug bust.

Valerie Lynn O’Dell, 42 of Forest City, pleaded guilty to gathering where drugs are used and child endangerment. She was arrested on December 17, 2017, along with Audrey O’Dell, Charles Barnish, and Joseph Luna after authorities searched O’Dell’s home and said they found methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.

Authorities say minor children were also living in the home.

Valerie O’Dell has been ordered to spend 36 days in jail, with credit for time served, followed by three years of probation.

Audrey O’Dell and Charles Barnish are scheduled to stand trial on September 12 on drug charges. Audrey O’Dell is also accused of child endangerment.

Winnebago County charges against Joseph Luna were dismissed to allow for his federal prosecution for drug crimes. Luna has pleaded guilty to two charges in federal court but no sentencing date has been set.

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