Public Safety

Dylan Plotz shooting: One of five charged will plead next month

All five men face gun, drug charges

Dylan Plotz
Dylan Plotz
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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man, accused of robbery, gun and drug charges in connection to the fatal shooting of Dylan Plotz last year, will plead guilty in federal court next month.

Kordell Jones, 19, is charged in U.S. District Court with attempted robbery and using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Court documents don’t show the plea agreement.

Jones, if convicted on the original charges, faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in federal prison.

Jones and four others were involved in a marijuana deal turned robbery that ended in 20-year-old Plotz’s death Feb. 1, 2017. All the men face robbery, drugs and guns charges, but according to testimony during previous hearings authorities don’t know who fired a 20-guage shotgun that killed Plotz.

Chase Zerba, 20, and Cameron Klouda, 21, both of Coggon, and Tyler Clemens, 23, of Alburnett, each were charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm — a 20-gauge pump shotgun — during a drug trafficking crime.

Zerba and Clemens were also charged with being drug users in possession of a gun.

Dillon Beener, 21, of Cedar Rapids, and Jones were charged with one count of attempted robbery and using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Beener’s lawyer also filed a motion to continue his trial because more time is needed for trial preparation, and it’s also possible Beener may reach a plea agreement with prosecutors.

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Investigators, during previous hearings, said Plotz, Beener, Jones and a juvenile who was driving and hasn’t been charged — traveled from Cedar Rapids to Zerba’s home in rural Coggon where they planned to rob him of a half-pound of marijuana. Plotz was armed with a .40-caliber pistol, according to testimony.

Zerba asked his friends, Clemens and Klouda, to come over in case something went wrong, and they waited in a minivan outside the house where they made the drug deal. 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, according to authorities. Zerba then yelled “Pull it up,” and Clemens raised the shotgun and discharged it.

Authorities said they don’t know if Clemens pulled the trigger. Clemens told police he thought Klouda pulled the trigger, but that hasn’t been determined, according to testimony during a detention hearing.

When authorities arrived after receiving a 911 call, they found Plotz dead with a shotgun wound to the face.

All the defendants, except Jones, still have trials set for Sept. 17 in U.S. District Court.

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

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