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Press Release

Dubque Man Again Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison For Distributing Heroin Resulting In Overdose Death

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

A man whose conviction for distributing heroin to a person who died of a heroin overdose was overturned earlier this year was sentenced yesterday in federal court to serve 30 years in prison.

Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr., age 51, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a October 30, 2014, guilty plea to distribution of heroin resulting in death.  Briggs initially pled guilty to the charge in June 2013, and was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment in September 2013.  His conviction was overturned after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Burrage v. United States that individuals could not be convicted of distributing drugs where death resulted unless the government proved the drugs were the “but for” cause of the death.  During his initial plea, Briggs had admitted only that the drugs were a contributing factor in the death of S.R.  At the plea hearing in October he admitted that S.R. would have lived but for using the heroin distributed by Briggs.

Briggs was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Briggs was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Briggs 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 Dan Chatham and was investigated by the Platteville, Wisconsin, Police Department, and the Dubuque, Iowa, Drug Task Force.

Court file information is available at  The case file number is 2:13-CR-01004-LRR.

Updated February 19, 2015