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Press Release

Eight Burlington Individuals Charged by Federal Criminal Complaint with Drug Charges

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

DAVENPORT, IA – Eight Burlington individuals were charged by criminal complaint in federal court as a result of a joint federal and state investigation of a drug trafficking organization that operated out of Burlington.

Six individuals made their initial appearances in federal court at the United States Courthouse in Davenport on Thursday, December 15, 2022: Gilbert Lee Ellis, Christopher Jerome Ellis, Honesty Knotts, Hardy Pegues, Joshua Adam Townsen, and Michael Demetrius Brown. Theodis Bagby and Larry Keith Knotts were also charged with this offense but have not yet made their initial appearance.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Taskforce with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Burlington Police Department, Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office, West Burlington Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Lee County Task Force, Muscatine Task Force, Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Johnson County Drug Task Force, Ottumwa Drug Task Force, and the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Team in Illinois.

On December 15, 2022, federal search warrants were executed at the following locations:

• 200 block of Ballard Street, West Burlington;

• 300 block of Locust Street, Burlington;

• 3200 block of Division Street, Burlington;

• 900 block of Locust Street, Burlington;

• 1400 block of Lucas Street, Burlington;

• 1500 block of Gnahn Street, Burlington;

• 1600 block of South 14th Street, Burlington;

• 1300 block of Aetna Street, Burlington.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Burlington Police Department made the announcement.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer

Updated December 20, 2022

Drug Trafficking