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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 8, 2015

Cedar Rapids Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Heroin Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury

A man who distributed heroin to a user who nearly died from an overdose pled guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Marcus DeJohn Wallace, age 19, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of distribution of heroin resulting in serious bodily injury.

At the plea hearing, Wallace admitted that on February 24, 2015, he distributed $50 worth of heroin to a person in the parking lot of a business on Edgewood Road.  He also admitted that the person to whom he had sold the heroin took that heroin to a nearby vehicle, where another person was waiting in the driver’s seat.  Both the driver and passenger used the heroin Wallace had sold, and both individuals immediately overdosed and lost consciousness after using the heroin.  The driver’s head slumped forward to the point that the driver’s head hit the steering wheel, activating the horn.  A passerby heard the horn honking, saw the two unconscious individuals inside the vehicle, and called 911.  When paramedics arrived, the passenger was able to be revived without medical intervention.  The driver’s head was down (chin to chest), skin was blue, and respirations were labored.  The driver was totally unresponsive until paramedics repositioned the driver’s head to open the airway.  Wallace admitted that without medical intervention by the paramedics, the driver was at a substantial risk of anoxic brain injury and death as a result of using the heroin Wallace distributed.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Wallace remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Wallace faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and a lifetime term of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Linn County Sheriff's Office; the Marion Police Department; the Iowa City Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file number is 15-CR-00025-LRR.

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Updated June 8, 2015