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United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa

02/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/13/2020 17:19

Cedar Rapids Man Involved in Large-Scale Heroin Ring Found Guilty After Jury Trial

A federal jury found a man who conspired with other people to sell heroin in Cedar Rapids guilty on February 12, 2020, after a jury trial.

Devontae Horton, age 25, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was found guilty after a three day jury trial. The jury found Horton guilty of conspiring to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and distribution of heroin.

Evidence at trial showed that between approximately June 2015 and April 2019, Horton, and up to twelve others, conspired to distribute heroin in the Cedar Rapids area. The group was known as the 'Ferrari' group. The members used one phone number, known as the 'Ferrari phone,' to arrange and conduct heroin transactions. At times, ten to twenty people a day called the phone for the sole purpose of purchasing heroin. In October 2018, Cedar Rapids police officers attempted to stop a vehicle occupied by Horton and another member of the Ferrari group, Jarel Williams. Horton and Williams attempted to get away from police, eventually running on foot. Police caught up with both men and located over $3,000 in cash in Horton's front pocket. The cash was drug proceeds. In November 2018, investigators utilized a confidential source to arrange a purchase of heroin. The source contacted Jarel Williams at what was believed to be the 'Ferrari phone.' Williams agreed to sell the source a half gram of heroin. Horton arrived instead and provided the confidential source approximately a half gram of heroin for $80. Evidence showed that Horton and Williams had operated like this on at least five other occasions. Multiple witnesses testified that Horton had provided them heroin in the past.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley Corkery and Elizabeth Dupuich and 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, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Marion Police Department, and the Linn County Sheriff's Office.

Horton is being held in the United States Marshal's custody until he can be sentenced. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Jarel Williams previously pled guilty to conspiring to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin and distribution of heroin. Williams will also be sentenced at a later date. Six other members of the group were also charged for their involvement. All six previously pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

The case file number is 19-CR-45.

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