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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 29, 2021

Heroin Dealer Who Caused the Death of a Young Woman Convicted After Three-Day Trial

A Chicago man who distributed heroin to a person who died from using it, was convicted by a jury today, after a three-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Eric DeAngelo Griggs, age 40, from Chicago, Illinois, was convicted of one count of distribution of heroin that resulted in the death of a young Cedar Falls woman on August 31, 2018, one count of using Facebook Messenger to facilitate the heroin distribution, and one count of using a cellular telephone to facilitate another heroin distribution on September 1, 2018.  Griggs was found not guilty of possession with intent to distribute heroin for heroin seized from a vehicle in which he was traveling on September 1, 2018.  The verdict was returned today following about nine hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Griggs was a source of supply of heroin for some individuals in Waterloo, Iowa, area during the summer of 2018.  On August 31, 2018, Griggs arranged to distribute $100 worth of heroin to a young Cedar Falls woman via Facebook messenger.  She subsequently returned to a residence in Cedar Falls, used the heroin, and then died of acute heroin intoxication.  Within a few hours after her body was found, officers were able to text Griggs using her phone to set up another heroin transaction. Griggs came to the location agreed upon with the undercover officer and was identified as the same person who had communicated with the young woman the day before.   

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Griggs remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Griggs faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Reinert and Special Assistant United States Attorney Dillan Edwards and was investigated as part of the Northern Iowa Heroin Initiative and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Waterloo Police Department, the Cedar Falls Police Department, the Tri-County Drug Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 19-CR-02062.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Updated April 29, 2021