Public Safety

Overdose victim helps police capture accused Iowa City heroin dealer Lorenzo Seals

IOWA CITY — On the afternoon of March 9, a man sat slumped behind the wheel of his car, which had come to rest in a row of bushes next to a home in Iowa City.

He was unconscious and not breathing; heroin cut with acrylfentanyl that he had shot up earlier in a Kmart parking lot coursing through his veins. The Johnson County Ambulance Service arrived on the scene, administered Naloxone — a drug designed to counteract the effects of opiates — and the next thing the man knew, he was waking up at Mercy Hospital.

Three months after that overdose, police say that man — who is not identified in criminal complaints — helped authorities arrest the man who sold him the heroin, 28-year-old Lorenzo M. Seals, of Iowa City. According to documents filed in the U.S. Southern District of Iowa federal court, Seals faces one count of conspiracy to distribute a mixture or substance containing heroin.

According to an 11-page federal complaint filed June 8 by Iowa City police officer and Drug Enforcement Administration task force officer Benjamin Hektoen:

Following the crash, authorities searched the man’s vehicle and found a hypodermic needle and a piece of a plastic baggie containing a powder residue. Those items were tested and confirmed to be heroin and acrylfentanyl, a synthetic opioid similar to fentanyl.

The man’s blood sample taken the night of the crash contained morphine, which would be found after using heroin.

In an interview, the man told authorities he had purchased the heroin from Seals. The man picked up Seals at his apartment on Broadway Street in Iowa City and the two drove to a home on Taylor Drive together. Seals went into the home and shortly thereafter a woman came out and provided the man heroin in exchange for cash.


Authorities used the man to set up four controlled purchases of heroin with Seals between mid-March and June 1.

The federal complaint said the man is facing charges of operating while intoxicated, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with the March 9 incident. No promises have been made to him with respect to his cooperation with police, authorities said.

Seals is currently in federal custody.


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