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Iowa drug dealer admits to crime

John Mangalonzo, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa –

Scared.

That was how Quiana Lynn Saunders described what she was feeling Monday morning, as she answered questions from a district court judge.

With tears flowing down her face, Saunders, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of delivery of crack cocaine.

The plea agreement she signed with Des Moines County prosecutors called for two other counts of the similar offense to be dismissed at the end of the appeal period.

Prosecutors won’t make a penalty recommendation. She will ask to be placed on probation, either by way of a suspended prison term or a deferred judgment.

The maximum Saunders can get is 10 years in a state penitentiary, and she must serve one-third of that term before she becomes eligible for parole.

The investigation that centered on Saunders began in August, when a confidential informant met with agents from the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force and said crack can be bought from a woman known in the streets as “Kiki.”

Agents established through several sources that Kiki was Saunders.

On Sept. 21, and with agents close by, the informant was able to buy crack from Saunders.

Authorities said a second and third transaction between the informant and Saunders took place later that same day.

The substance the informant bought from Saunders tested positive for crack, agents said.

Saunders will be sentenced April 2.

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