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Waterloo Woman Sentenced in Heroin Ring

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WATERLOO, Iowa - A Waterloo woman who worked her way up to a middleman position in a heroin ring has been sentenced to prison.

Judge Linda Reade sentenced April Tillman, 47, to 10 years in prison on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. Tillman will have to serve five years of supervised release following her prison time.

Jurors found Tillman guilty of conspiracy to distribute 1,000 grams of heroin during a July trial.

Authorities said Tillman was a regular heroin user who supported her habit by developing a customer base and selling the drug to others. When other heroin dealers were charged in a series of indictments, Tillman and other moved up in the organization to fill the gaps, authorities said. She bought the drug in Chicago and cut it to increase the weight and her profits.

When heroin wasn't available, Tillman sold prescription drugs like oxycodone and methadone, according to testimony at trial. Witnesses at trial said Tillman worked closely with another person who was indicted, Catherine Johnson.

Waterloo police were called to Tillman's apartment on East Fifth Street in November 2010 after she fell from a third-story window and broke her arm. Inside the apartment, officers found drugs and items used to package and distribute drugs, court records state.

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