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Press Release

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Over 900 Grams of Heroin and Fentanyl

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

A man who possessed over 900 grams of heroin and fentanyl and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase pled guilty in federal court on March 15, 2023.

Donald Ray Owens, age 43, from Markham, Illinois, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute and aiding and abetting with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl in the Northern District of Iowa.

In a plea agreement, Owens admitted to taking the Iowa State Patrol on a high-speed chase and, during the chase, someone threw a vacuum-sealed package out of the vehicle, which contained 975.7 grams of heroin and fentanyl.  Officers also found over $17,000 in cash.  Officers also recovered text messages related to possible drug transactions, photographs of controlled substances, and photographs of drug paraphernalia from Owens’s phone.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Owens remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Owens faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment and the following maximum penalties: (1) not more than life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole; (2) a fine of not more than $8 million; (3) a mandatory special assessment of $100; and (4) a term of supervised release of at least eight years and up to life.

This case was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Dorval Norwood.

Court file information at  The case file number is 22-CR-00032-CJW.

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Updated March 16, 2023

Drug Trafficking