While the floods of 2008 had a major impact on the people of Cedar Rapids, it also caused some problems for what turned out to be a record federal drug case. Matt Dummermuth, U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Iowa, announced Wednesday the recovery of seven million dollars and charges against 26 people in an operation that sold prescription drugs illegally via the internet.
Dummermuth says the flooding hit at a key time in the case. Dummermuth says the prosecutions were in full force when the flooding hit and for five months they had to work out of a temporary office. He says they had line up trailers to use for offices.
Dummermuth says to get to the point where they could work, agents had to push key evidence out of a third floor office window onto a hydraulic lift from the Drug Enforcement Agency just to get the evidence to a place where they could use it. Dummermuth credits the staff with adapting to the new working conditions to get the case completed.
He says the had to get special electrical hook ups and had limited space to use for interviews of witnesses and for defense attorneys to review the evidence. The case ended up with the convictions and four million dollars was given to the various Iowa agencies that help prosecute the doctors and internet companies that were selling the drugs illegally.