Drug Enforcement Administration


Richard Salter , Special Agent in Charge

July 30, 2018

Contact: Emily Murray

Phone Number: (402) 964-7950

Heroin dealer who caused overdoses gets over 27 years in prison

(OMAHA, Neb) - Matthew R. Barden, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Omaha Division today announced that a prolific heroin trafficker who was responsible for two overdoses, one of which ultimately turned fatal, was sentenced to over 27 years in federal prison. Donald Johnson (a.k.a. Scony), a Cedar Rapids, Iowa resident but formerly of Chicago, Illinois, received a sentence of 325 months in prison after pleading guilty on March 12, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. Johnson had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of distribution of heroin causing death, and two counts of distribution of heroin causing serious bodily injury.

“Drug dealers ruin lives,” Agent in Charge Barden said. “Whether they are destroying our communities, destroying families, causing violence and mayhem, or dealing lethal drugs without care for their common man, they ruin lives. The women and men of DEA, along with our state, local, and federal partners, will continue to dedicate our lives to improving the communities we love and live in, and never give up on our efforts to put drug dealers in jail.”

The investigation Johnson was arrested in detailed his drug trafficking activities that encompassed the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area from at least 2015 until his arrest. Johnson would purchase gram quantities of deadly heroin from his suppliers, and then market smaller amounts of this same heroin to his customers. Johnson’s heroin supplies were so deadly that two of his customers overdosed and had to receive medical attention. Sadly, and in showing no remorse for his actions, Johnson sold heroin again to one of his overdose victims which proved to be a lethal dose.

United States District Court Judge Linda Reade handed down Johnson’s sentence, adding three years of supervised release upon his release from custody.

This case was investigated by the DEA’s Task Force in the Cedar Rapids area, as well as the Cedar Rapids, IA Police Department, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa.

To find out more information regarding drugs of abuse visit: www.dea.gov

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