Public Safety

Dubuque woman convicted of dealing heroin, lethal dose of methadone

She faces up to 20 years, $1 million fine

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Dubuque woman who distributed heroin and a fatal dose of methadone to a person in 2015 was convicted this week in federal court.

Brianna M. Martin, 24, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to one count of distribution of heroin.  

Court documents show the Dubuque Drug Task Force investigated the July 19, 2016, death of a person who purchased heroin, using Martin as a connection to a heroin dealer. During the plea hearing, Martin admitted she helped the person buy heroin.

An autopsy shows the person died as a result of mixed drug toxicity involving methamphetamine and heroin. 

Then on July 28, 2016, the task force had a confidential source arrange a controlled buy of heroin through Martin from the same drug dealer. 

Martin, during the hearing, admitted that she sold heroin that day to the confidential source.  

She also admitted that in 2015 she participated in a drug treatment program in Galena, Ill., and she obtained a “take home” dose of methadone on a Saturday to use Sunday when the methadone clinic was closed. Martin admitted she would sometimes sell her dose of methadone to others. 

On July 12, 2015, she distributed her take home dose to other individuals, Martin admitted during the plea. One of those individuals was found unresponsive the next day and later died. An autopsy determined that person died of complications of acute methadone intoxication.

Martin will remain in jail pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled. She faces up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and up to life on supervised release following any prison time.

The case was investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Chatham. 

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