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Drug dealer guilty of selling heroin to man who died of overdose sentenced to 16 years in federal prison


This news story was published on October 8, 2019.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – Michael Stevenson was sentenced October 7, 2019 to more than 16 years in federal prison after a jury found him guilty on all five counts of a five-count indictment.

Michael Stevenson, age 29, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after an April 25, 2019 jury verdict finding him guilty of conspiracy and distribution of heroin and crack cocaine.

Evidence at trial showed Stevenson intentionally conspired to distribute crack cocaine from January of 2017 to September of 2017. As part of his drug dealing activities, Stevenson sold drugs to Adam Birch who died of a drug overdose on February 2, 2017. After the death of Birch, police located more than 300 text messages to Stevenson the majority of them being drug-related. Testimony at trial proved that Stevenson had provided Birch with heroin on February 1st, the day before Birch’s overdose death. Stevenson continued to sell heroin and crack cocaine even after the overdose of Birch. At trial Stevenson admitted he dealt drugs for 2-3 years and that he traveled to Chicago, Illinois to get re-supplied with heroin and crack cocaine for redistribution in Dubuque. Judge Williams found that Stevenson obstructed justice by threatening a trial witness as well as by being untruthful in his trial testimony. Judge Williams also found that Stevenson directed at least one other person in the drug conspiracy that involved more than five people. Judge Williams determined that an increased sentence was warranted based on Birch’s death, and the fact that even after learning of Birch’s death, Stevenson continued to sell heroin.

Stevenson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Stevenson was sentenced to 200 months’ imprisonment [and fined $500. He was ordered to make $13,194.59 in restitution.

He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Stevenson is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jack Lammers and Kyndra Lundquist and investigated by the Dubuque Police Department, Dubuque Sheriff’s Office, and Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

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