WATERLOO — A man who warned customers about the dangers of drugs is one of three people recently arrested in connection with investigations into local opioid sales.
Another is a person who allegedly sold drugs moments before an overdose-related car crash.
Authorities arrested Melvin “Trav” Williams, 54, of Waterloo on Friday on federal charges of distributing a controlled substance. He was held pending a hearing in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.
Also on Friday, investigators filed a federal charge of distributing a controlled substance against Johnathan Davis, 29, of Waterloo.
On Thursday, officers arrested Justin Brock Jensen, 40, of Cedar Falls, charged by the state with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
Bail was set at $25,000. The next day, authorities filed federal drug distribution charges.
The cases were investigated by the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force.
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Court records allege Williams acted as a middleman, selling opioids obtained from Davis and another person. The drugs involved had been advertised as heroin, but tests revealed they actually contained fentanyl, records show.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin.
Williams is accused of purchasing an alleged undercover heroin from his East Fourth Street apartment in April.
During the transaction, Williams accepted $100 for two small bags of white powder and told the buyer to be careful. He also told the buyer to have Narcan — a drug used to treat opioid overdoses — on hand during use, according to court records.
The powder later tested positive for fentanyl, according to court records.
Court records indicate that investigators observed Davis’ vehicle pull up to Williams’ residence shortly before the drug deals in April. In these cases, the product also tested positive for fentanyl.
Investigators executed a search warrant on Davis’ Ford Flex on Thursday and found thousands of dollars in cash and more than 50 grams of white powder, records show.
Jensen is accused of selling suspected heroin during an undercover buyout at a home in West Donald Street in Waterloo on May 17.
He is also accused of supplying drugs to a person who allegedly overdosed while driving on April 2.
Emergency crews found the unconscious driver in a Dodge Ram pickup truck that had left the roadway in the Broadway Street and Airport Boulevard area. Doctors administered Narcan and the driver regained consciousness.
Inside the vehicle, investigators found a bag of powder inside a container of chewing tobacco and a syringe containing liquid. The driver told authorities he had overdosed on heroin, but tests revealed the powder and substance in the syringe were actually fentanyl.
Officers found text messages on Facebook Messenger that the driver purchased drugs from Jensen and they uncovered cellphone data indicating the driver was at Jensen’s house approximately 38 minutes before the crash, according to court records.
Police raided Jensen’s home on Thursday.
Fact sheets: Drugs of abuse