A Davenport man was sentenced Monday to 20 years in federal prison for providing a fatal dose of heroin to a Davenport woman in May 2015.
Kiel James Kiwala, 30, must serve three years of supervised release once he completes his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Kiwala pleaded guilty in June to one count of distribution of heroin resulting in death in U.S. District Court, Davenport.
In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed an additional charge of distribution of heroin.
According to the plea agreement and a trial brief filed by prosecutors:
Davenport police were dispatched about 8 p.m. May 1, 2015, to a home in the 2900 block of West 67th Street.
Police, fire and emergency responders found Tammy Balzer, 36, lying on the floor between the kitchen and living room. Officers also found a used syringe containing a clear liquid, a small spoon and a substance wrapped in tin foil on the kitchen counter.
The substance was later confirmed to be a small amount of heroin. Police also found a piece of paper with Kiwala’s phone number on it.
Balzer was taken to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, where she remained in a coma until she died on May 3, 2015.
Family members told police they last saw Balzer around 5:30 p.m. May 1 and spoke to her by phone around 6 p.m. A family member told police that Balzer had overdosed on heroin three times before her death. The most recent overdose had occurred three weeks earlier.
A man who knew both Balzer and Kiwala later told police that she asked him for heroin earlier that day and that she already had used $25 worth that she received from a different source.
That night, the man and Kiwala went to Balzer's home. The man said Kiwala told Balzer, “Don't die on me, don't die on me. This is strong stuff."
Kiwala shot up himself and the man, but they refused to shoot up Balzer because they "didn't want anything bad to happen," the man told police.
The man said he and Kiwala were at the house for about 20 minutes. Before they left, Kiwala put a small amount heroin in a gray foil wrap, the man said.
Kiwala later told the man to erase the calls and messages between them on his phone in case anything bad happened and so his girlfriend wouldn't find out.
On May 12, 2015, officers used the man to set up a controlled heroin purchase fromKiwala. Kiwala sold the man about .37 grams of heroin for $150 in pre-serialized bills. Kiwala admitted during the transaction that the heroin he sold to the man was the same drugs he sold to Balzer.
Kiwala was stopped by police and searched following the heroin purchase. Police found about 1.5 grams of marijuana, a marijuana pipe and a piece of aluminum foil in Kiwala's car. The money used to buy the heroin was found on Kiwala.
Kiwala initially denied knowing Balzer, but when confronted with audio from the heroin purchase, he began to cry and said he was confused.
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An inmate at the Muscatine County Jail, where Kiwala was being held after his arrest, later told investigators that Kiwala said the heroin he sold to Balzer was 20 percent pure and he had cut it with sugar.
The inmate also told investigators that Kiwala said he had been in trouble before for selling heroin to a person who overdosed and he had beat the case because the person also had Xanax in their system and the coroner could not say for sure that the heroin alone caused the person's death, according to the documents.
Kiwala initially was charged in Scott County District Court with involuntary manslaughter and two counts of a controlled substance violation. The charges were dismissed in August 2015 after he was indicted in federal court.
Previously, he served about one year of a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2011 to a Class C felony drug charge. He admitted that he sold heroin to a friend, Kevin Glenz, who overdosed and died Feb. 14, 2010.
On Dec. 10, 2012, about nine months after his release from prison, Kiwala overdosed on heroin, according to court records. Police found him passed out in the passenger seat of a car in a parking lot of a Davenport Walgreens, where he had just purchased 10 hypodermic needles.
His parole was revoked, and he was sent back to prison Feb. 11, 2013; he was behind bars for seven months.
Kiwala overdosed a second time in October 2013 and later pleaded guilty to an aggravated misdemeanor drug charge.
He was still on parole at the time of his arrest in May 2015.