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Justice News

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Three Repeat Drug Dealers from Waterloo Sentenced to Prison

Sentenced to prison for between six and fifteen years for trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine

Three men, all from Waterloo, Iowa, were sentenced in federal court in Cedar Rapids on October 16, 2018, because they trafficked cocaine and crack cocaine. 

 John Dwayne Phillips, age 50, was sentenced to 72 months of imprisonment and supervised release of six years.  The sentence came after he pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  Phillips had previously been convicted of delivery of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, third offense, in state court. 

Darius Fontaine Shears, age 31, was sentenced to 180 months of imprisonment and supervised release of eight years based upon his guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.  Shears had previously been convicted of possession of cocaine with intent deliver in state court.  

Alexander Martin, age 51, was sentenced to 132 months of imprisonment and supervised release of ten years.  Martin pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.  Martin had previously been convicted of possession of crack cocaine with the intent to deliver and possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver in state court. 

Phillips, Shears, and Martin were indicted along with co-defendants Alston Campbell, Sr., Alston Campbell, Jr., William Campbell, and Willie Carter.  These four men were convicted at trials held earlier this year.  All four will be sentenced at a later date.

The evidence at the trials for the co-defendants showed that the seven men were working together with others to sell cocaine and crack cocaine in the Waterloo area.  Evidence at the trials included wiretaps done by both the DEA and FBI that showed the group had pounds of cocaine being brought to Iowa from out of state.  The group then redistributed it as powder and crack cocaine in Waterloo. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Emily K. Nydle and Rich Murphy and was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Waterloo Police Department, the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, the Cedar Falls Police Department, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Iowa City Police Department, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa State Patrol. 

Phillips, Shears, and Martin are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to a federal prison.  All three were sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade. 

There is no parole in the federal system.

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-cr-2045.

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Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated October 23, 2018