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Waterloo man sentenced to federal prison on drug charges

gavel-justiceCEDAR RAPIDS – A 58 year-old man who was selling large quantities of marijuana while collecting Social Security benefits was sentenced on October 11, 2011 to almost six years in federal prison.

Roderick Houston, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a July 5, 2011 guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. At his plea hearing, Houston admitted that he possessed and intended to distribute over 50 kilograms of marijuana. During an April 28, 2010 search of Houston’s residence, police seized 157 pounds of marijuana, five firearms, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia. Police also seized over $50,000 in cash, which Houston admitted was proceeds from marijuana sales.

Houston was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Houston was sentenced to 69 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. At the sentencing hearing, Houston had requested a sentence of probation with home confinement, based in large part on his medical condition for which he was receiving disability income.

Houston was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lightfoot and investigated by the Tri-County Drug Task Force and the Cedar Rapids Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force. The Tri-County Drug Task Force is composed of the Waterloo Police Department, Cedar Falls Police Department, Waverly Police Department, Bremer County Sheriff’s Office, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, LaPorte City Police Department, Evansdale Police Department, Hudson Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Cedar Rapids Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consists of the DEA; Linn County Sheriff’s Office; Cedar Rapids Police Department; Marion Police Department; Iowa City Police Department; Clinton Police Department; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services; and Iowa National Guard.

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