Nebraska, Iowa prisoners among those granted clemency by Biden

(Source: Gray News)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 5:09 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A handful of men sentenced in federal courts in Nebraska and Iowa will see those sentences reduced as they’re on the list of 78 people President Biden granted clemency to on Tuesday.

Jose Luis Colunga of Juniata, a rural town just west of Hastings, was convicted in July 2010 in Tennessee for dealing at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. His sentence will now end Oct. 26, 2023, about seven years early and serve 10 years on supervised release.

Edwin Tierny of Council Bluffs was sentenced Nov. 8, 2026, in Nebraska to 10 years for a methamphetamine conviction. Tierney can leave federal prison a year from now, April 26, 2023 — about three years earlier than he was supposed to serve — and serve out the rest of his term confined to his home. Following his release, he will remain on supervised release for five years.

Douglas Dean Johnson of Dickens, Iowa, about 160 miles northeast of Omaha, was convicted Dec. 8, 2008, in Iowa to 20 years for making and selling 50 grams or more of meth and for charges related to drug trafficking. His prison sentence will also expire April 26, 2023 — about six years early — leaving him to serve the remainder of the time confined to his home. He will also be under supervised release for 10 years.

Andrea Zavala of Waterloo, Iowa, was sentenced June 7, 2017, to nine years in prison for distribution of at least 50 grams of a mixture containing at least 5 grams of meth and other of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine and 5 grams of actual methamphetamine. His sentence will also expire April 26, 2023, at which time he will serve the remainder to be served in home confinement, leaving intact and in effect the five-year term of supervised release.

Additionally, Ruben Lopez Cazares of Chula Vista, Calif., was convicted June 7, 2007, in Nebraska to 25 years in prison for conspiracy for drug distribution. His sentence was reduced to nearly 22 years in 2016. His sentence will now expire April 26, 2023, and he will serve the rest of the sentence in home confinement as well as five years supervised release.

In addition to commuting sentences for dozens of prisoners convicted on nonviolent, drug-related charges, President Biden also granted three pardons on Tuesday: a Kennedy-era Secret Service agent convicted of federal bribery charges that he tried to sell a copy of an agency file and to two people who were convicted on drug-related charges but went on to become pillars in their communities.

6 News producer Chase Moffitt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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