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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Iowa

For Immediate Release

August 30, 2012

Stephanie M. Rose, United States Attorney

Contact: Tim Duax
(712) 255-6011

Chicago Man Convicted of Heroin Conspiracy

A man who conspired to distribute heroin was convicted by a jury August 29, 2012, after a 2-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Dion Thomas, 35, from Chicago, Illinois, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and one count of heroin distribution. The verdict was returned this afternoon following about 2 hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Thomas was part of a large-scale heroin distribution ring operating in Waterloo between 2009 and 2012. Thomas transported heroin from Chicago to Waterloo for distribution in Waterloo by others working for him. The evidence also showed Thomas distributed large quantities of crack cocaine through the same network of distributors.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Thomas remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. On the conspiracy charge, Thomas faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, an $8 million fine, a $100 special assessment, and at least 8 years of supervised release following any imprisonment. On the distribution charge, Thomas faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years' imprisonment, a $2
million fine, a $100 special assessment, and at least 6 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Amy M. Koopmann and Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Tri-County Drug Task Force, Cedar Rapids DEA Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Tri-County Drug Task Force is composed of the Waterloo Police Department, Cedar Falls Police Department, Waverly Police Department, Bremer County Sheriff's Office, Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office, LaPorte City Police Department, Evansdale Police Department, Hudson Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Cedar Rapids Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consists of the DEA; Linn County Sheriff's Office; Cedar Rapids Police Department; Marion Police Department; Iowa City Police Department; Clinton Police Department; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; ATF; and the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

Court file information is available at The case file number is 11cr2046.