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Press Release

Riverside Man Caught with Over 10 Grams of Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogues Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison

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

A man who conspired to distribute heroin was sentenced on January 10, 2023, to two years in federal prison.

Taylor James Leyden, age 30, from Riverside, Iowa, received the prison term after a July 5, 2022 guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

At the guilty plea, Leyden admitted he conspired with others to distribute heroin.  Evidence at prior hearings and information presented at the sentencing hearing showed that, in 2021, the Cedar Rapids DEA conducted a wiretap investigation of several heroin and fentanyl traffickers in the Cedar Rapids area.  In March 2021, based on intercepted communications from the wiretap, the vehicle in which Leyden was riding was stopped by police.  During a search of the vehicle, Leyden was found in possession of over 10 grams of a mixture containing heroin, fentanyl, and synthetic opioids acetyl fentanyl, para-fluorofentanyl, and metonitazene.  About two months later, Leyden was again stopped by law enforcement and found in possession of approximately 3.5 grams of a substance that contained heroin, fentanyl, and metonitazene.

Seven other individuals, Cody Scott Deklotz, Andrew James Lehman, Ryan Rick Schlitter, Melinda Salvatora Werning, Jerry Dwayne Banghart, Thomas Nathaniel May, and Demeco Demon Irvin previously pled guilty to the heroin conspiracy and have been sentenced.  Ryan Rick Schlitter was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment.  Andrew James Lehman was sentenced to 10 months and 16 days’ imprisonment.  Cody Scott Deklotz was sentenced to 84 months’ imprisonment.  Melinda Salvatora Werning was sentenced to 12 months’ and one day imprisonment.  Jerry Dwayne Banghart was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment.  Thomas Nathaniel May was sentenced to 31 months’ imprisonment.  Demeco Demon Irvin was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment. Two other individuals charged in the same indictment, including Brian Jarrell Dennis, have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Leyden was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Leyden was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

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 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting 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 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21‑CR‑32‑CJW.

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Updated January 12, 2023

Drug Trafficking