Two Davenport men sentenced in drug cases, following deaths of two women in 2018, 2019

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Two Davenport men — Donnie Spencer, age 70, and Rafiel Lee Owens, age 35 — were sentenced on Monday, Dec. 13 by United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose on drug charges.

Spencer was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Crack Cocaine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin and Crack Cocaine, and Felon in Possession of Ammunition. Spencer was ordered to serve four years of supervised release to follow his prison term and pay $300 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.

Owens was sentenced to 212 months (17.6 years) in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Crack Cocaine and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Owens was ordered to serve four years of supervised release to follow his prison term and pay $200 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.

The men were identified by law enforcement as participants in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in June 2019 after a female suffered an opioid overdose at a hotel room where Owens was selling heroin. The investigation revealed Spencer was supplying his nephew Owens with drugs. Between June 2019 and December 2019, law enforcement executed several search warrants and recovered various controlled substances at Spencer and Owens’s residences, including heroin, heroin and fentanyl, crack cocaine, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Spencer traveled to Chicago on a weekly basis to obtain heroin and crack cocaine and transported the drugs back to the Quad Cities, according to a Tuesday U.S. Department of Justice release. Spencer then supplied Owens, who then sold the drugs on Spencer’s behalf. Spencer also sold the drugs to his own customers. Over the course of approximately four years, Spencer was responsible for transporting and distributing approximately two kilograms of heroin and five kilograms of crack cocaine from Chicago to the Quad Cities.

In May of 2018, a 30-year-old female died from a drug overdose in Davenport after ingesting heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine provided to her by Owens. Testimony at the sentencing hearing revealed the night before she passed away, Spencer provided heroin to Owens who provided it to the female. She was found deceased the following morning.

In August of 2019, a 28-year-old female died in Rock Island, after ingesting a mixture of heroin and fentanyl provided to her by Owens. Testimony at the sentencing hearing revealed that Spencer tricked the female, who was not a heroin user, into consuming the heroin by telling her it was cocaine. Owens had obtained the heroin from Spencer earlier that day. The female was found dead the following morning.

Donnie Spencer was found guilty after a bench trial, presided by Judge Rose, on Aug. 10, 2021. Rafiel Owens pleaded guilty to the charges on Feb. 19, 2021.

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