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Press Release

Dubuque Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to Federal Prison

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

A woman who sold fentanyl to drug users in Dubuque was sentenced today to 28 months in federal prison.  Fallon Christina Murphy, age 25, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison sentence after a November 30, 2022 guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Evidence at prior hearings established that between March and June 2022, Murphy supplied heroin users in the Dubuque area with fentanyl.  Murphy and Jose Miguel Soto-Guzman, also charged in the case, regularly traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to purchase fentanyl from Soto-Guzman’s source.  Murphy and Soto‑Guzman then sold the fentanyl around Dubuque.  Between March and June 2022, investigators conducted five controlled purchases from Soto‑Guzman and Murphy.  The drugs purchased contained fentanyl, but some of the fentanyl was mixed with heroin and some with methamphetamine.  After Soto‑Guzman’s arrest, Murphy continued to obtain fentanyl from the La Crosse source for distribution in Dubuque.  In late July 2022, Murphy traveled to La Crosse to purchase drugs, and upon her return to Dubuque, officers stopped the vehicle in which she was riding.  When the police stopped her vehicle, Murphy concealed the drugs inside her body to avoid detection.  Officers later recovered the drugs, which were determined to be nearly 10 grams of fentanyl.

Murphy was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  She was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment.  She must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

Soto-Guzman has not yet been sentenced.  He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 60 years’ imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, and a term of supervised release of at least six years and up to life following any imprisonment.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Nicole L. Nagin and Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham and was investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force as part of the Northern Iowa Heroin Initiative. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-CR-1022.

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Updated January 27, 2023

Drug Trafficking