An Iowa man is facing a felony drug charge after he allegedly met with an undercover agent to sell five pounds of methamphetamine, according to court documents.
Zackery Lee Vaughn, 34, of Le Claire, Iowa was charged Monday in Steele County Court with first-degree drugs sale. The charge stems from an incident that occurred June 11 in Medford, where Vaughn was arrested for allegedly attempting to sell meth to an undercover agent with the South Central Drug Investigation Unit.
According to the criminal complaint, SCDIU was alerted on June 3 about a male who was attempting to sell meth on social media. The male was identified as 35-year-old Victor Alexander Hernandez, who law enforcement believes lives in Iowa. An undercover agent connected with Hernandez and spoke on the phone with him regarding purchasing meth, to which Hernandez texted the agent a number that belonged to Vaughn.
From June 3 to June 11, the agent and Vaughn negotiated a sale eventually agreeing to Vaughn selling the agent five pounds of meth for the price of $12,500. Vaughn agreed to deliver it to Owatonna on June 11, according to the report.
On his way to the sale, Vaughn texted the agent a photo and a video of a bag full of large packages that appeared to be methamphetamine and a large amount of cash. Vaughn also told the agent that he would have to eat some of the methamphetamine to prove he was not a police officer and sent the agent a photo of an AR-15 style rifle on the front passenger seat of the vehicle.
At 6:45 p.m., Vaughn met the agent in a parking lot in Medford. Vaughn then told the agent to eat a piece of a clear crystalline shard, but the agent first handed Vaughn the container he said the cash would be stored in, triggering the arrest team. Vaughn initially attempted to run back to the driver’s seat of his vehicle, but was taken into custody by agents and a police K9, according to court documents.
During a Mirandized interview, Vaughn told agents that he sells MSM – a Sulphur-based compound used to relieve muscle pain – as fake methamphetamine for Hernandez in return for meth or money. Vaughn claimed he had approximately only one ounce of actual meth inside his vehicle.
Agents field tested the five large bags, weighing at approximately one pound each, and the substance did not test positive for meth. However, the report shows that there was a quantity of what appeared to be actually methamphetamine inside the vehicle as well.
Vaughn is currently in custody at the Steele County Detention Center and bail without conditions has been set at $30,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 25.
In other court news, an arrest warrant has been issued for 38-year-old Derek Dean Dardis of Owatonna. Dardis is facing two felony domestic assault charges as well as two felony fifth-degree assault charges in relation to an incident that occurred on June 7 at an Owatonna business.
According to the criminal complaint, Owatonna police were called on June 7 to a local business for a report of an assault. The caller stated Dardis was drunk and had slapped her husband, also hitting her in the act.
At the scene, officers connected with another victim who said Dardis hit them with a closed fist all night and into the morning. The victim said Dardis also stated he was going to kill them.
While officers spoke with the victim, another officer requested Dardis provide a preliminary breath test, which resulted in a reading of 0.345.
Court records show Dardis was previously convicted in 2018 and 2020 of domestic assault in Rice County.