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      Drug suspects ask for, receive public defenders

      James Lee Fields

      Two Heartland men arrested as part of a huge meth conspiracy will have their defense provided at state expense.

      Brett Alan Whittington, 27, of Ottumwa, and James Lee Fields, 51, of Oskaloosa, were arrested last week and charged with one count of Conspiracy to Deliver More than 5 grams of Methamphetamine.

      According to online court records, both men pleaded not guilty last week and have requested public defenders, a request that has been granted by the judges in both cases.

      The two men were arrested last week as a part of joint state and federal drug investigation that came to light in July when law enforcement seized 33 pounds of meth.

      Both men face a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted.

      Whittington and Fields remain in the Wapello County Jail on $100,000 bond.

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