Public Safety

Alabama man sentenced to 8 months for selling heroin in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS — An Alabama man was sentenced Friday to eight months in federal prison for selling heroin in Cedar Rapids.

Torrance Brown, 28, of Tuscaloosa, pleaded guilty last November to distribution of a controlled substance.

He sold a mixture of heroin and fentanyl on two occasions to confidential informants working with law enforcement, according to court documents.

The transactions were arranged by the confidential sources who called the “Ferrari” phone, which had been used since 2015 by a group trafficking heroin since in Cedar Rapids, according to a sentencing document.

Most of the individuals connected to the ring had been convicted by 2019, and the phone number wasn’t active, so investigators believe Brown may have known about the group through a family connection, court documents show.

Brown, who was wanted on a federal warrant for drugs, was stopped by Cedar Rapids police officers Aug. 30 last year and refused to get out of his vehicle, requiring a K-9 unit to get that done.

Officers found Brown was carrying $1,515 in cash and three plastic bags of heroin and fentanyl.

During the sentencing, Jill Johnston of Cedar Rapids, Brown’s lawyer, said Brown’s drug sales were driven by his drug habit. There was no evidence, she said, he knew the heroin was mixed with fentanyl, which makes heroin more potent and dangerous.

He also cooperated with investigators, providing information about his source for drugs.

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U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams sentenced Brown at the bottom end of the advisory sentencing guideline.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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