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Burlington drug middleman will serve 10-year prison sentence

John Mangalonzo, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa –

A 61-year-old Burlington man police say was a middleman in several drug transactions between a confidential informant and a dealer is headed to prison after being rejected from the drug court program.

Raymond Lee Thomas Sr., was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in a state penitentiary for each of the three counts of delivery of crack cocaine he pleaded guilty to in November.

District Court Senior Judge William Dowell followed the recommendation of the attorneys and ordered the terms to be served concurrently, but told Thomas he must serve one-third of the maximum term before being eligible for parole.

“He needs treatment and supervision,” said James Carter, Thomas’ attorney.

Authorities said Thomas took drug orders in September from an informant working with the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force.

He would in turn go to a dealer, Leroy Darnell Collins, get the crack, and return with it to the informant.

Collins, 40, was sentenced in December to 10 years for each of the two counts of delivery of crack cocaine and one count of possession of crack cocaine with the intent to deliver. The terms will be served concurrently.

Narcotics agents, in conjunction with a drug investigation involving a man known as “Munch,” searched Collins’ home at 718 Aetna St. in September.

Agents seized 4.25 grams of crack cocaine, packaging materials, cash and drug paraphernalia.

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