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Six sentenced in Waterloo heroin ring

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WATERLOO, Iowa --- Six Waterloo residents accused of selling heroin will go to prison.

Judge Linda Reade, one after another, sentenced the defendants to terms ranging from four to more than 10 years in prison.

Authorities allege the group distributed at least a kilogram of heroin between January 2007 and August 2012 when they were indicted with eight other people.

Catherine Johnson, 54, of Waterloo, got 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and conspiracy to launder money. She must also serve 10 years of supervised release after prison.

Johnson allegedly bought heroin from Duane Appling and Lucious Simmons until they were arrested. Johnson and her brother, Lusta Johnson, worked together to bring heroin from Chicago to distribute in Waterloo, according to court records.

During an investigation, undercover operatives bought heroin from Johnson three times, according to records.

Simmons and Appling were indicted separately. Simmons was sentenced in August to eight years and three months. Appling is awaiting trial.

Others sentenced Thursday:

Leroy Baylor, 43, of Waterloo, received 10 years and one month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and conspiracy to launder money. He must also serve four years of supervised release.

Dominick Watts, 39, of Waterloo, received eight years in prison and eight years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and conspiracy to launder money.

According to court records, Watts made regular trips to Chicago to buy heroin to sell in Waterloo.

Authorities alleged they found heroin and marijuana after Watts fled a traffic stop in December 2011. Watts later sold heroin during two monitored transactions in March 2012. A month later he was stopped in Cedar Rapids, and police found 75 grams of heroin on a passenger, Raydell "Scaledale" Talbert.

Raydell Talbert, 54, of Waterloo, received eight years in prison and eight years of supervised release. Authorities allege Talbert became involved in the heroin ring in 2006 or 2007 when the group was headed by Appling. Talbert took a break between 2009 and 2012 when he was in prison. A confidential informant bought heroin from Talbert in August 2012, according to records.

Talbert was also arrested in 2002 after police searched his home and found heroin. At the time, authorities were investigating the homicide of his roommate, Calvin Rash, who was killed with Martavious DeShaun Robinson outside a home in Waterloo. The slayings remain unsolved.

Veronica Kelly, 57, of Waterloo, also known as Ronni Harmon, was engaged to Talbert. Kelly received five years in prison and four years of supervised release. She was stepped up to take a larger role as a drug dealer after a number of others were arrested in April 2011. She also assisted Mavia Walker in heroin sales, according to records.

Barbara Brooks, 57, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison and four years of supervised release. She allowed heroin dealing in a house on East Fourth Street.

In April, Bryant Olive, 55, of Waterloo, was sentenced to nine years and five months in prison for drug and money laundering conspiracy charges. He must also serve five years of supervised release.

Seven indicted with the group are awaiting trial: Conny Miles, Frank "Frank Nitty" Nelson, Fred Olive, April Tillman, Antoine "Dank" Williams, Lusta Johnson and Mavia "May-May" Walker.

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