An eastern Iowa man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to dealing drugs.

Prosecutors describe 62-year-old George Patrick Ashby as a large-scale meth dealer. Court records indicate Ashby was the leader of a drug ring that shipped large amounts of crystal meth — often called ice — from southeast Iowa to the Cedar Rapids area for redistribution. The drug ring also sold heroin.

Ashby was arrested in Burlington in March of 2020 and he told authorities the gun in his possession could be linked to a 2019 murder in Cedar Rapids.

According to the Iowa Department of Corrections website, Ashby has at least eight previous felony convictions in state court. This case was prosecuted in federal court. There is no parole in the federal system, so Ashby would have to live until he’s 92 before being eligible for release.