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Press Release

Career Offender Who Sold Cocaine Near Parks and a School in Dubuque Sentenced to Over Twelve Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Law Enforcement Found Nearly 20 Grams of Cocaine and a Loaded Handgun that Defendant’s Girlfriend was Trying to Smuggle out of His Home

A career offender with prior drug trafficking convictions who sold cocaine near protected locations multiple times and possessed a loaded handgun was sentenced today to more than a dozen years in federal prison.

Jerry Towns, age 31, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a December 23, 2019 guilty plea to distributing cocaine.

Information disclosed at the guilty plea and sentencing hearing showed that Towns distributed cocaine near either a park or school on four different occasions in 2017 and 2018.  Later in 2018, law enforcement stopped Towns while he was a passenger in a car.  At the same time, law enforcement was getting ready to search Towns’ residence in Dubuque.  Towns called his girlfriend and told her to get cocaine and a loaded gun out of the residence.  Law enforcement stopped her as she was leaving and seized the drugs and loaded gun.

At sentencing, Towns was found to be a career offender.  He had two prior felony offenses for distributing cocaine.  He also had eleven other adult criminal convictions, including four convictions involving violence.  During the sentencing, the court said it was clear Towns was making a living by dealing drugs and met any definition of a career offender.

Towns was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Towns was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Towns 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 Tony Morfitt and investigated by the Dubuque Police Department and the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-CR-1020.

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Updated May 20, 2020

Drug Trafficking