Iowa Drug Kingpin Who Killed 5 Faces January Execution Date

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The execution date for a notorious Iowa drug kingpin who killed witnesses and children in 1993 has been scheduled for Jan. 15.

Dustin Honken is among five federal death row inmates whose execution dates were announced Thursday by the Justice Department.

The announcement came as Attorney General Bill Barr directed federal capital punishment to resume for the first time in nearly two decades.

Honken was convicted at trial in 2004 of five counts of murder during a continuing criminal enterprise and numerous other counts.

The jury found that he killed two dealers who were to testify against him during a 1993 investigation, a mother and her two children. Their bodies weren’t recovered for years. Honken, a resident of Britt in northern Iowa, expanded his meth-making and distribution enterprise in the following years.

Iowa doesn’t have the death penalty, but the federal jury recommended a death sentence for the children’s murders.

Honken’s girlfriend, Angela Johnson, also was sentenced to death but her punishment was reduced to life in prison in 2014.