News and Press Releases

Drug Felon Sentenced To Life Plus Five Years For Selling Heroin

May 23, 2012

Contact: Peter Deegan

A Waterloo man who was part of a drug conspiracy was sentenced on May 22, 2012, to life plus 5 years in federal prison.

Lawrence Johnson, 38, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 6, 2012, jury verdict finding him guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin; one count of distribution of heroin; one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin; one count of possession of a firearm during a drug crime; and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The evidence at trial showed that Johnson conspired with others to sell at least one kilogram of heroin from 2007 through April 2011. Johnson agreed with others to sell large quantities of heroin in the Waterloo area. On one occasion, Johnson sold heroin to a confidential informant while under police surveillance. Johnson’s residence was searched on February 15, 2011, and officers recovered additional heroin packaged for distribution, along with a handgun. The evidence showed that Johnson used the handgun for protection during his drug trafficking.

Johnson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Johnson was sentenced to life plus five years’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $500 was imposed. He must also serve a ten-year term of supervised release after the prison term should he ever be released from custody. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and Special Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lightfoot and was investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Tri-County Drug Task Force, Cedar Rapids DEA Task Force. The Tri-County Drug Task Force is composed of the Waterloo Police Department, Cedar Falls Police Department, Waverly Police Department, Bremer County Sheriff’s Office, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, LaPorte City Police Department, Evansdale Police Department, Hudson Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Cedar Rapids Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consists of the DEA; Linn County Sheriff's Office; Cedar Rapids Police Department; Marion Police Department; Iowa City Police Department; Clinton Police Department; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

Court file information is available at The case file number is 11-2025 (8).



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