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Press Release

Illinois Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Methamphetamine and Heroin Crimes

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

A man who worked with others to distribute methamphetamine and heroin was sentenced today to more than 34 years in federal prison.

Michael Garrick Denson, age 34, from Illinois, received the prison term after a September 14, 2023 jury verdict finding him guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and one count of possession with the intent to distribute heroin. 

The evidence at trial showed that Denson was a methamphetamine and heroin dealer in the Dubuque, Iowa, area who was nicknamed “Ice Mike.”  Between February 2018 and February 2020, Denson conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine and heroin in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.  On July 23, 2019, investigators observed Denson outside of a hotel in Dubuque.  Denson had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, and investigators stopped a car in which he was a passenger.  During the stop, Denson got out of the passenger side of the car and ran from investigators.  Investigators located six small baggies containing heroin near where Denson had been seated in the car. 

Denson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge C.J. Williams.  Denson was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 419 months and 18 days.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Adam J. Vander Stoep and Dan Chatham 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 Dubuque Drug Task Force (consisting of the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office and the Dubuque Police Department) and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-CR-01003-CJW.

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Updated March 15, 2024

Drug Trafficking