Three Waterloo Fentanyl Dealers Sentenced to Federal Prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Three Waterloo fentanyl dealers were sentenced to federal prison this week.
Sheryl Wellner, age 44, received the prison term after an October 11, 2022 guilty plea to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
Melvin Williams, age 55, received the prison term after a January 8, 2023 guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Justin Jensen, age 41, received the prison term after a January 9, 2023 guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Information at a prior hearing showed that, on August 7, 2021, and August 13, 2021, Wellner distributed heroin to another person in Waterloo, Iowa. Then, on August 18, 2021, law enforcement officers searched Wellner’s residence and recovered almost 10 grams of a heroin/fentanyl mixture and a digital scale.
Information disclosed at their respective sentencing hearings showed that, between March 2022, and May 26, 2022, Williams and Jensen worked together to distribute fentanyl. In late March 2022, Williams distributed an amount of fentanyl to another person, which caused the person to suffer an overdose and die. Then, in early April 2022, Williams distributed fentanyl to Jensen, who in turn distributed it to another person, which caused the person to suffer an overdose and crash their car on a highway in Waterloo. In May 2022, law enforcement officers conducted several controlled purchases from Williams and Jensen before arresting them on May 26, 2022.
All three individuals were sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Wellner was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment. She must also serve a six‑year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Williams was sentenced to 79 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a five‑year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Jensen was sentenced to 33 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.
Wellner, Williams, and Jensen are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to a federal prison.
These case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dillan Edwards and were 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force consisting of the Waterloo Police Department, Cedar Falls Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Department, Evansdale Police Department, Waverly Police Department, Hudson Police Department, La Porte City Police Department, and the Bremer County Sheriff’s Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file numbers are 22‑CR‑02028 and 22-CR-02034.
Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.
Updated May 12, 2023