Man Involved In 2014 Drug Robbery Found Guilty In Federal Court

Tony Morfitt
Public Information Officer, Department of Justice-Northern District of Iowa

May 3, 2021

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - This is not a press release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety. It is provided on behalf of the Department of Justice - Northern District of Iowa as a result of the Division of Criminal Investigation's participation in this case.

A man who robbed and murdered his drug dealer was convicted by a jury today after a nine-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Matthew Barrett Robbins, age 48, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of robbery affecting interstate commerce, conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce, and using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in murder.  The verdict was returned this morning following more than nine hours of jury deliberations.

The jury found that Robbins and others planned to rob a local drug dealer, and then robbed the dealer on May 31, 2014.  The jury also found that Robbins used a firearm during the robbery, and that the firearm was fired, killing the victim. 

“Matthew Robbins used a gun to steal drugs and money,” said Acting United States Attorney Sean R. Berry.  “Robbins’s actions resulted in the death of the man he robbed.  Today’s verdict holds him accountable for that death.  This verdict was made possible by the extraordinary cooperation and hard work of more than a dozen law enforcement agencies.”

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Robbins remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Robbins faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $750,000 fine, and 11 years’ of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa C. Williams and Emily K. Nydle and was investigated by the Marion Police Department, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Iowa City Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, the Davenport Police Department, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the Daytona Beach Shores Florida Police Department.  Assistance was also provided by the Waypoint Services Survivor's Program in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Court file information at 

The case file number is 19-cr-53.


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.