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Press Release

Waterloo Man Sentenced to Prison for Selling Crack Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Police Find Shotgun at His House During Search Warrant

A man who sold crack cocaine and had a shotgun in his house was sentenced today to more than a year in federal prison.

Johnston Phillips, age 64, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after an October 30, 2017, guilty plea to distribution of crack cocaine.  At the guilty plea, Phillips admitted that he sold crack cocaine on March 14, 2017.  During a search warrant at Phillips house a week later, law enforcement recovered a Mossberg shotgun.  Phillips’ residence was also being used by other crack cocaine dealers to make sales.  Phillips had previously been convicted of possession of crack cocaine and forgery in state court.

Phillips was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Phillips was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 6-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Phillips 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 Ravi T. Narayan and Emily K. Nydle and were 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. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-cr-2050. 

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Updated March 30, 2018

Drug Trafficking