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Press Release

Cedar Rapids Man Convicted of Ice Methamphetamine Conspiracy Sentenced to Nearly 20 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man who was intercepted in a wiretap investigation conspiring to distribute large quantities of ice methamphetamine was sentenced September 29, 2023, to nearly 20 years in federal prison.

Elmer Mims, age 69, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a February 24, 2023 jury verdict finding him guilty of one count of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.

The evidence at trial showed that the Cedar Rapids Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted a wiretap investigation in late 2021 and early 2022 targeting a group of individuals who were shipping large quantities of ice methamphetamine from Los Angeles, California, to Cedar Rapids.  The DEA intercepted calls over phones used by David Belton (a/k/a “Blood”) and Derek Mims (a/k/a “D Mo”) in which they orchestrated the shipment of loads of thirty to sixty pounds of ice methamphetamine.  Elmer Mims was intercepted in a call in early December 2021 discussing a prior occasion during which Elmer Mims had obtained 14 pounds of ice methamphetamine for $26,000.  During an intercepted call in early February, Belton and Derek Mims discussed how they were going to obtain 60 pounds of ice methamphetamine, 20 pounds for each of them and 20 pounds for “Unc,” a nickname for Elmer Mims. 

Less than two weeks after that call, DEA contacted local authorities in York County, Nebraska, to assist in stopping a truck that was believed to be transporting the 60 pounds of ice methamphetamine.  The Nebraska officers stopped the truck and seized a tote that contained sixty, one‑pound packages of 99% pure methamphetamine.  During an intercepted call on February 28, 2022, Elmer Mims and Belton discussed the seizure of the 60 pounds in Nebraska, believing that Derek Mims may have been stealing from them.

In March 2022, investigators searched Elmer Mims’s Cedar Rapids residence, seizing nearly $19,000 in cash drug proceeds, a box for a Glock handgun, ammunition, a holster, a tactical vest, and over four pounds of marijuana.  Elmer Mims had previously been convicted in federal court in 1985 for a heroin conspiracy that involved smuggling large quantities of heroin using drug couriers and sending drug money to Hong Kong and Nepal.

Eleven other individuals were charged in the same investigation, nine of whom have been sentenced:

  • Kiyonte Levell Sowell was sentenced to 144 months’ imprisonment;
  • Albert Henry Bailey was sentenced to 88 months’ imprisonment;
  • Jesus Vera was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment;
  • Calub Joseph Storlie was sentenced to 200 months’ imprisonment;
  • Christopher Eric Curley was sentenced to 175 months’ imprisonment;
  • David Poitier Belton was sentenced to 396 months’ imprisonment;
  • Derek Michael Mims was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment;
  • Phillip Lanell Rogers was sentenced to 135 months’ imprisonment;
  • Anton Tarrice Whitney, Jr. was sentenced to 216 months’ imprisonment

Two other individuals, Robert Lee Michael Bates and Timothy Michael Webber, are awaiting sentencing.

Mims was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Mims was sentenced to 235 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

The case 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 DEA Task Force in Cedar Rapids and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The DEA Task Force in Cedar Rapids consists of the DEA; the Linn County Sheriff's Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Chatham and Kraig Hamit.

Court file information at

The case file number is 22‑CR‑39‑CJW‑MAR.

Updated October 6, 2023

Drug Trafficking