A former professor at the University of Iowa has been sentenced in Davenport for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine resulting in the death of a victim and possession of child pornography.
According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, Dr. John Robert Muriello, 66, was sentenced on July 21 to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine which resulted in the death of a victim, and 20 years in prison for possessing child pornography. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently, or at the same time.
According to the release, since sometime in 2020, Muriello conspired with Eric Hojka of Iowa City, and others to obtain and distribute methamphetamine in and around Iowa City. In May 2021, first responders were called to Hojka’s apartment in Iowa City, based on a report of a victim who had lost consciousness. Paramedics were unable to revive the victim and he was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed the victim ingested methamphetamine, causing his death. The investigation revealed that the victim received the methamphetamine from Hojka. Hojka got the methamphetamine from Muriello, who had obtained it from a supplier in California. When the police searched Muriello’s Iowa City residence in May 2021, they found methamphetamine and a large collection of child pornography.
Muriello must also pay restitution of $12,000, a fine of $50,000, and assessments of $22,200 and his Iowa City residence was forfeited. Following his prison term, Muriello was also ordered to serve a five-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement and the Iowa City Police Department and the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office investigated the case.