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Press Release

Dubuque Fentanyl Dealer Who Referenced Overdoses During Drug Sales Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison

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

A two-time drug felon who possessed a firearm and sold fentanyl to drug users in Dubuque, Iowa, was sentenced today to 216 months in federal prison. 

Jose Miguel Soto-Guzman, age 47, received the prison sentence after a December 6, 2022 guilty plea to distribution of a controlled substance near a protected location after having been previously convicted of a felony drug offense and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Evidence at hearings in Soto-Guzman and his co-defendant’s cases established that, between March and June 2022, Soto-Guzman supplied heroin users in the Dubuque area with fentanyl.  Soto-Guzman and his co-defendant, Fallon Christina Murphy, regularly traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to purchase fentanyl from Soto-Guzman’s source, which Soto-Guzman and Murphy then sold in Dubuque.  During one of these trips, Soto-Guzman’s three-year-old child was present.  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.  During a drug sale, Soto-Guzman told an undercover agent that two people had overdosed the previous day.  When investigators searched a residence where Soto-Guzman stayed, they located a firearm that he possessed.  Soto-Guzman, a convicted felon, was also known to possess a firearm while selling controlled substances.

Soto-Guzman was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  He was sentenced to 216 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 6-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Murphy was previously sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release.

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

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.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-CR-1022.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated April 24, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses