Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Iowa

For Immediate Release

November 16, 2012

Sean R. Berry, United States Attorney

Contact: Peter Deegan, Public Information Officer
(319) 363-6333

Bettendorf Woman Sentenced for Heroin Conspiracy Resulting in an Overdose Death

A woman who admitted being involved in the distribution of heroin to a customer who died was sentenced yesterday to more than four years in federal prison.

Melissa Edwards, 25, from Bettendorf, Iowa, received the prison term after a June 11, 2012 guilty plea to conspiring to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

At the sentencing, Edwards admitted she was aware of one of her customers’ history of overdosing on heroin, but nevertheless was involved in the distribution of heroin to that customer in March 2011. The customer then used the heroin, overdosed, and died.

Edwards was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Edwards was sentenced to 51 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed. Edwards must also serve a five–year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Edwards is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until she can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham and investigated by the Ad Hoc Heroin Overdose Task Force which is comprised of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA; the Department of Homeland Security; the Linn County Sheriff’s Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; the Iowa City Police Department; the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services; and the Iowa National Guard.

Court file information is available at The case file number is CR12–00028–LRR