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Dubuque cocaine dealer sentenced to federal prison

This news story was published on February 26, 2020.
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Federal courthouse, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS – A Dubuque man who possessed and sold crack cocaine near a school was sentenced today to more than five years in federal prison.

John Saunders, age 44, from Dubuque, Iowa received the prison term after a September 9, 2019 guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance near a protected location.

In a plea agreement, Saunders admitted he possessed crack cocaine he intended to sell.  Saunders was selling cocaine out of his residence which is located near Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.  A search warrant executed on his property recovered over 24 grams of crack cocaine, drug weighing and packaging materials, and a loaded handgun under the mattress.

Saunders was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Saunders was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 6-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Saunders 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 Attorney Liz Dupuich and investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force, the Dubuque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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