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Three Dubuque heroin dealers sentenced to federal prison


This news story was published on August 13, 2017.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – Two men who sold heroin and fentanyl that killed a Dubuque man in April 2016, and another man who sold heroin and illegally possessed a firearm were sentenced recently to federal prison.

Derrick Jermain Brown, age 26, was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment following his February 21, 2017 guilty plea to conspiring to distribute heroin and fentanyl within 1,000 feet of a playground and public elementary school. Antwain Deshaun Spratt, age 39, was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment following his December 2016 guilty plea to distributing heroin within 1,000 feet of a playground and a public elementary school and his February 2017 guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Tywone Derrel Matthews, age 41, was sentenced to just under 6 years’ imprisonment after the court found him guilty on January 31, 2017 of distributing heroin near a playground and a public elementary school, distributing heroin and fentanyl near a playground and a public elementary school, and possessing with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl near a playground and a public elementary school.

The court found Brown was a leader of a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring operating out of a residence on Iowa Street in Dubuque. Brown admitted to selling over 1 kilogram of heroin over the course of about three years. Brown also admitted that on April 11, 2016, a female heroin customer called Brown to order heroin from him. Following the call to Brown, Matthews left the Iowa Street residence, met with the customer, and distributed a mixture of heroin and fentanyl to her. The customer took the heroin/fentanyl mixture back to the residence she shared with her boyfriend, and she and her boyfriend injected some of it. After injecting the mixture, the female lost consciousness. When she awoke, her boyfriend was dead of an overdose. The court sentenced Brown and Matthews to additional time in prison for their roles in distributing the heroin and fentanyl mixture that caused the boyfriend’s death.

At his plea hearing in December 2016, Spratt admitted he sold heroin to another individual during an undercover operation. Evidence at a prior hearing showed that in April 2016, while a federal arrest warrant was pending on the heroin charge, Deputy United States Marshals found Spratt hiding in a closet in a Dubuque residence. Officers found a handgun in a clothes hamper outside the closet where Spratt was hiding. Spratt had previously been convicted of three prior drug felonies in Illinois, as well as felony theft and willful injury in Black Hawk County, Iowa.

Brown, Spratt, and Matthews were sentenced in Cedar Rapids by Chief United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand. Brown was sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment and a $100 special assessment. He must also serve an eight-year term of supervised release after the prison term. Spratt was also sentenced to a total of 240 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a total of six years of supervised release after the prison term, and pay $200 in special assessments. Matthews was sentenced to a total of 71 months’ imprisonment, and six years’ supervised release after the prison term. He must also pay $300 in special assessments. There is no parole in the federal system.

All three men are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to federal prisons.

Four other men were previously sentenced for their roles in distributing heroin and fentanyl in Dubuque. D’Anthony Lamont Moore was sentenced to 75 months’ imprisonment following his guilty plea to three counts of distributing heroin near a school and playground. Jeffery Donta Hitchcock was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment following his guilty pleas to distributing heroin near a college and playground. Antoine Tavares Mitchell was sentenced to 13 months’ imprisonment following his guilty plea to conspiring to distribute heroin. Antrell Desharron Lewis was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for distributing heroin near a school and playground. Lewis was also subsequently convicted of distributing and conspiring to distribute heroin and furanylfentanyl resulting in death and serious bodily injury. He is awaiting sentencing on those charges

The case was investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Linn County Sheriff’s Office; the Marion Police Department; the Iowa City Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham.

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