Criminal Justice News

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cedar Rapids Man Convicted of Possession of a Handgun After Having Been Convicted of Eight Prior Felonies

A man who possessed a firearm after having been convicted of eight prior felonies was convicted by a jury today after a one-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Maurice Jones, age 44, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The verdict was returned this afternoon following about two and one half hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that just after midnight on the morning of October 26, 2010, officers responded to a report of shots fired in the 1400 block of 4th Ave SE in Cedar Rapids. Officers went to a house that was believed to be the location of the gunfire where there was a large group of people on the porch. During a search of the porch, officers found a loaded 9mm Ruger handgun. In an interview a couple of days later, Jones admitted to officers that he possessed the gun and hid it on the porch when officers arrived. Jones had previously been convicted of eight felony offenses in Cook County, Illinois; specifically: burglary in 1986; possession with intent to deliver cocaine in 1988 and 1998; robbery and armed robbery in 1993; possession of heroin in 1998 and 2002; and possession with intent to deliver marijuana in 2003. After moving to Iowa in 2004, Jones was convicted four times in Linn County Iowa District Court of assault.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Jones remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Jones faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a cooperative local, state, and federal program aimed at the enhanced prosecution of gun crimes. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and was investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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