A federal appeals court has upheld the life prison sentence of a former northeast Iowa police officer, who’s serving time on drug charges. The life prison sentence of 70-year-old Eddie Denton Junior was affirmed yesterday in a unanimous opinion by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The former Waterloo police officer was convicted of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, cocaine, and marijuana; and to distribute crack cocaine within one-thousand feet of a playground after a two-and-a-half day trial in February 2003. Denton was sentenced to life in prison last February. The sentence, pronounced by District Court Judge Linda Reade, was based on the large amount of drugs Denton helped distribute, his possession of a firearm in connection with the charges, and the court’s finding that he committed perjury during his trial testimony.

Evidence presented at the trial revealed that Denton was involved in a Waterloo organization known as “The Clique”, which distributed drugs in the area. Denton was one of five men charged in the drug conspiracy ring. The other four are serving prison sentences of 10-and-a-half to 30 years.