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Press Release

Dubuque Woman Pleads Guilty to Distributing Heroin

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Also Admitted Distributing Methadone That Resulted in an Overdose Death

A woman who distributed a fatal dose of methadone pled guilty on August 6, 2018, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Brianna Marie Martin, age 24, from Dubuque, Iowa, was convicted of one count of distribution of heroin.

Prior court documents reflect that on July 19, 2016, the Dubuque Drug Task Force investigated the death of an individual who had obtained heroin by using Martin as a connection to a heroin dealer.  At the plea hearing, Martin admitted she had facilitated the heroin transaction.  An autopsy determined that this individual died as a result of mixed drug toxicity involving methamphetamine and heroin.  On July 28, 2016, the Dubuque Drug Task Force utilized a confidential source to arrange a controlled buy of heroin through Martin from the same drug dealer.  At the plea hearing, Martin admitted that, during the July 28 controlled buy, she distributed heroin to the confidential source. 

Martin also admitted that in July 2015, she was participating in a drug treatment program in Galena, Illinois.  As a part of that program, she obtained a “take home” dose of methadone on a Saturday, for use on Sunday when the methadone clinic was closed.  Martin admitted she would sometimes sell her “take home” dose of methadone to others.  She admitted that on July 12, 2015, she distributed her “take home” dose to other individuals.  On July 13, 2015, one of those individuals was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead.  An autopsy determined that this individual died of complications of acute methadone intoxication.

Sentencing before Chief United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Martin was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the guilty plea and will remain in custody pending sentencing.  Martin faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and up to a lifetime term of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 18-CR-1021-LTS.

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Updated August 8, 2018

Drug Trafficking