Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man pleads in marijuana robbery that led to fatal shooting in Coggon

(FILE PHOTO) The site of a homicide in rural Coggon is shown on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Dylan Plotz was found dead there on the night of Feb. 1, and several people were taken into custody. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
(FILE PHOTO) The site of a homicide in rural Coggon is shown on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Dylan Plotz was found dead there on the night of Feb. 1, and several people were taken into custody. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — A second man pleaded guilty this week in a robbery that led to the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Dylan Plotz in 2017 in Coggon.

Dillon Beener, 21, of Cedar Rapids, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to one count of attempted robbery and one count of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. He faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison on the gun charge and up to 20 years on the robbery charge.

Kordell Jones, 19, of Cedar Rapids pleaded guilty earlier this month to the same charges.

Investigators say Beener and four others were involved in a marijuana deal that ended in the fatal shooting of Plotz on Feb. 1, 2017.

Each of the men face robbery, drugs or gun charges, but according to testimony during previous hearings, authorities cannot determine who fired the 20-gauge shotgun that killed Plotz.

During previous hearings, investigators said Plotz, Beener, Jones and a juvenile, who was driving but hasn’t been charged, traveled from Cedar Rapids to Chase Zerba’s home in rural Coggon where they planned to rob Zerba of a half-pound of marijuana.

Plotz was armed with a .40-caliber pistol, according to testimony.

Zerba asked friends Tyler Clemens, 23, of Alburnett, and Cameron Klouda, 21, of Coggon, to come over in case something went wrong, and they waited in a minivan outside the house to make the drug deal.

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Clemens and Zerba took a shotgun from the house, which Clemens loaded and carried to the van, according to authorities.

After discussing the price of marijuana, Plotz, who was outside the van with Beener and Jones, pointed his gun at Zerba, authorities said. According to testimony, Zerba then yelled “Pull it up,” and Clemens raised the shotgun and discharged it.

When authorities arrived, they found Plotz dead with a shotgun wound to the face.

Despite testimony that Clemens fired the gun, authorities say they have not determined who pulled the trigger. According to testimony during a detention hearing, Clemens told police he thought Klouda pulled the trigger.

Trial is set for Zerba, Clemens and Klouda on Nov. 19 in U.S. District Court.

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

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