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Men involved in large-scale Iowa heroin ring sentenced to a decade in prison


This news story was published on August 29, 2020.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – A Chicago man and a Cedar Rapids man who conspired with each other and others to sell heroin in Cedar Rapids were recently each sentenced to ten years in prison.

Devontae Horton, age 28, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison sentence on August 27, 2020, after he was found guilty during a February 2020 jury trial. The jury found Horton guilty of conspiring to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and distribution of heroin.

Sean Jarel Williams, age 31, from Chicago, Illinois, received the prison sentence today after a January 21, 2020 guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute at least 1,000 grams of heroin.

Evidence at Horton’s trial, and at both men’s sentencing hearings, showed that between approximately June 2015 and April 2019, Horton, Williams, and up to eleven others, conspired to distribute heroin in the Cedar Rapids area. The group was known as the “Ferrari” group. The members used one phone number, known as the “Ferrari phone”, to arrange and conduct heroin transactions. At times, ten to twenty people a day called the phone for the sole purpose of purchasing heroin.

In October 2018, Cedar Rapids police officers attempted to stop a vehicle occupied by Horton and another member of the Ferrari group. Horton tried to get away from police but was eventually apprehended. Officers located over $3,000 in cash in Horton’s front pocket. The cash was drug proceeds. In October 2018, Horton sold heroin directly to a confidential source. Investigators had arranged the transaction by calling the “Ferrari” phone.

Williams also used the “Ferrari” phone to arrange heroin transactions. Williams was also stopped by police in July 2017 travelling from Chicago to Cedar Rapids. At the time, Williams had approximately 350 grams of heroin in his vehicle that he intended to distribute in the Cedar Rapids area.

Bother Horton and Williams were sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Each was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment and must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“The ‘Ferrari’ group was a menacing source of deadly opioids in our community for far too long,” said United States Attorney Peter Deegan. “With these most recent sentencings, seven members of this criminal enterprise have now been brought to justice. This is a significant law enforcement achievement, but the battle against opioids continues. We will continue to work with our law enforcement and community partners to take the fight to the dealers and support those who struggle with addiction.”

Horton and Williams are the last of seven men who were charged together on April 24, 2019, for their role in the “Ferrari” group. The following have already been sentenced for their roles in distributing heroin for the “Ferarri” group:

Walter Malano Collins Murray, Jr., age 19, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment on December 30, 2019, following a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin.

Cortez Nelson, age 30, from Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment on May 20, 2020, following a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute at least 1,000 grams of heroin.

Dewon Earl Meeks, age 30, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was sentenced to 71 months’ imprisonment on May 20, 2020, following a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin.

Anthony Ricks, age 31, from Chicago, was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment on July 10, 2020, following a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin.

Jarel Shawn Williams, age 23, from Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 127 months’ imprisonment on June 1, 2020, following a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute at least 1,000 grams of heroin.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Corkery and was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Marion Police Department, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

HORTON, DEVONTAE DOMINIQUE

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One Response to Men involved in large-scale Iowa heroin ring sentenced to a decade in prison

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 31, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Wonderful!!!!!