Cedar Rapids, Iowa – After a two-month investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, a Williamsburg man is facing arson and drug charges.
During the months of July and August, DNR officials noted an increase in illegal fires in the 14,000-acre Hawkeye Wildlife area’s parking lots, fields, and forests.
The flames burned several hay bales held by a farmer leasing a portion of the state land, as well as trees, fields, and parking lot posts.
DNR conservation officers, together with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa State Patrol, executed a search warrant at Jereme Goltz’s house in Williamsburg as an outcome of the investigation.
Officers recovered devices, evidence from the flames, and methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from the scene.
Two counts of third-degree arson, felony possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine (3rd or subsequent offense), and littering have been filed against Goltz.
Goltz was involved in a car pursuit with an Iowa conservation officer in the Hawkeye Wildlife Area in 2019. During the chase, Goltz got out of his car and ran into the Iowa River’s flood waters, where he climbed a tree.
Goltz was rescued from the tree after a long rescue attempt by Iowa DNR officials, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, the Iowa State Patrol, and local fire departments. Goltz was charged and convicted of eluding, carrying weapons, and possession of methamphetamine.