A Davenport man arrested in March after police busted a methamphetamine lab in his home pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal drug charges.
Steven M. Gruetzmacher, 46, appeared in U.S. District Court, Davenport, to plead guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
He faces 10 years to life in prison on the conspiracy count and five years to life in prison on the firearm count, according to his plea agreement. A sentencing date has not been set.
The morning of March 7, the Davenport Police Criminal Investigation Division/Tactical Operation Bureau and the Iowa State Patrol’s Tactical Unit went to a home at 3317 Kimberly Downs Road with a search warrant.
Police said there was evidence of an active meth lab and finished product.
Officers seized sludge containing methamphetamine, camp fuel, lithium batteries, various chemicals, hydrogen chloride gas generators, blister packs with pseudoephedrine, glassware and plastic bottles with residue, coffee filters and grinders with residue, digital scales, and a white powdery substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to an arrest affidavit for Gruetzmacher.
Officers also seized two loaded handguns and two loaded rifles from the residence, police said.
Gruetzmacher owned the home, property records show.
Gruetzmacher admitted to police he manufactured methamphetamine between 100 and 200 times in the past six months at the home, police said.
Police said Travis L. Meier, 20, and Leslie W. Hardin, 41, lived in the house. They also are charged in the conspiracy. Meier has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and awaits sentencing, while Hardin’s case is pending.
Meier and Hardin pooled together precursor materials such as pseudoephedrine pills, Coleman fuel, coffee filters and lithium batteries and cooked methamphetamine at the home on a daily basis, court records show. Some of the meth was consumed for personal use while some was distributed to various customers, records show.
Hardin also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.