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Press Release

Eleventh Defendant from Cedar Rapids Ice Methamphetamine Wiretap Case Found Guilty After Trial

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Has Prior Federal Conviction for Asian Heroin Smuggling Case

A man who was intercepted in a wiretap conspiring to distribute large quantities of ice methamphetamine was convicted by a jury today after a three-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Elmer Mims, age 68, from Cedar Rapids, was convicted of one count of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.  The verdict was returned this afternoon following about four hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that the Cedar Rapids Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted a wiretap investigation in late 2021 and early 2022 targeting a group of individuals who were shipping large quantities of ice methamphetamine from Los Angeles, California, to Cedar Rapids.  The DEA intercepted calls over phones used by David Belton (a/k/a “Blood”) and Derek Mims (a/k/a “D Mo”) in which they orchestrated the shipment of loads of thirty to sixty pounds of ice methamphetamine.  Elmer Mims was intercepted in a call in early December 2021 discussing a prior occasion during which Elmer Mims had obtained 14 pounds of ice methamphetamine for $26,000.  During an intercepted call in early February, Belton and Derek Mims discussed how they were going to obtain 60 pounds of ice methamphetamine, 20 pounds for each of them and 20 pounds for “Unc,” a nickname for Elmer Mims. 

Less than two weeks after that call, DEA contacted local authorities in York County, Nebraska, to assist in stopping a truck that was believed to be transporting the 60 pounds of ice methamphetamine.  The Nebraska officers stopped the truck and seized a tote that contained sixty, one‑pound packages of 99% pure methamphetamine.  During an intercepted call on February 28, 2022, Elmer Mims and Belton discussed the seizure of the 60 pounds in Nebraska, believing that Derek Mims may have been stealing from them.

In March 2022, investigators searched Elmer Mims’s Cedar Rapids residence, seizing nearly $19,000 in cash drug proceeds, a box for a Glock handgun, ammunition, a holster, a tactical vest, and over four pounds of marijuana.  Elmer Mims had previously been convicted in federal court in 1985 for a heroin conspiracy that involved smuggling large quantities of heroin using drug couriers and sending drug money to Hong Kong and Nepal.

The following ten co‑defendants charged in the same indictment had previously pled guilty in federal court:

David Poitier Belton

Derek Michael Mims

Phillip Lanell Rogers

Robert Lee Michael Bates

Anton Tarrice Whitney, Jr.

Christopher Eric Curley

Calub Joseph Storlie

Timothy Michael Webber

Kiyonte Levell Sowell

Jesus Vera

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Mims remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Mims faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the DEA Task Force in Cedar Rapids and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The DEA Task Force in Cedar Rapids consists of the DEA; the Linn County Sheriff's Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Chatham and Kraig Hamit. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22‑CR‑39‑CJW‑MAR.

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Updated February 27, 2023

Drug Trafficking