News and Press Releases

Local Law Enforcement Agencies Working With Federal Prosecutors To Combat Gun Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2,. 2012

Contact: Peter Deegan

The United States Attorney’s Office and various law enforcement agencies in the Cedar Valley are working in collaboration to target the most dangerous offenders in the Waterloo area for federal prosecution. This is a strategic effort to hold accountable, to the fullest extent possible, individuals who decide to engage in crimes of violence.

This effort is being led by the Cedar Valley Gang Task Force and a specialized unit of the Waterloo Police Department known as the Violent Crime Apprehension Team, or VCAT. The Cedar Valley Gang Task Force is comprised of members from the Waterloo Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Falls Police Department, Waverly Police Department, State of Iowa Probation and Parole, and the United States Marshals Service. VCAT is responsible for investigating violent and gang-related criminal activity in the Waterloo area. Task Force and VCAT officers have reported a sharp increase in the number of shootings in the past several months, many of which they believe to be gang-related. These officers, together with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, are focused on combating this dangerous trend through federal prosecution of drug dealers, repeat criminal offenders, violent gang members, and other individuals who illegally possess firearms.

These targeted efforts have already resulted in lengthy federal prison sentences. Recently, Larry Phillips, a Waterloo gang member, was sentenced to just under 5 years in federal prison after a guilty plea to possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of marijuana. Phillips’s brother, Quintel Phillips, received a federal prison term of 30 years after being convicted by a jury of distribution of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm as a felon, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and two counts related to witness tampering.

In recent weeks, the work of officers in the VCAT unit and other divisions of the Waterloo Police Department has resulted in the following charges being filed in federal court in Cedar Rapids:

● On July 11, 2012, Daniel Harrington, age 23, from Waterloo, was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a .22 caliber pistol. The Indictment alleges that Harrington had previously been convicted in Black Hawk County of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The case file number is CR 12-2016.

● On July 18, 2012, Sadorieous Collins, age 19, from Waterloo, was indicted on one count of being a felon and drug user in possession of a firearm. The Indictment alleges that Collins, a marijuana user, possessed a .357 caliber magnum revolver after previously being convicted in Black Hawk County of willful injury causing bodily injury. The case file number is CR 12-2017.

● On July 18, 2012, Michael Dennis Winters, age 27, from Waterloo, was indicted on one count of possession of a 9 mm handgun after being convicted of both a felony and a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The Indictment alleges that Winters had previously been convicted in Black Hawk County of willful injury, domestic abuse assault with intent to cause injury, and domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury. The case file number is CR 12-2018.

● On July 18, 2012, Dai’Sean Battles, age 20, from Waterloo, was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a .40 caliber pistol. According to allegations in the Indictment, Battles was previously convicted in Black Hawk County, Iowa, of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. The Indictment alleges that Battles possessed a gun with an obliterated serial number. The case file number is CR 12-2019.

● On July 18, 2012, Irvin Johnson Jr., age 19, from Waterloo, was indicted on one count of being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. According to allegations in the Indictment, Johnson possessed a .22 caliber pistol and was an unlawful user of marijuana. The case file number is CR 12-2019.

● On July 18, 2012, Patrick Donover Sallis, age 23, from Waterloo, was indicted on three counts for being a felon and drug user in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute near a playground, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. According to allegations in the Indictment, Sallis possessed a 9 mm caliber handgun after having previously been convicted in Black Hawk County of several felonies, including intimidation with a dangerous Weapon, going armed with intent, and two counts of possessing firearms as a felon. The Indictment alleges that Sallis was also an unlawful user of marijuana. The case file number is CR 12-2020.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Winters appeared in federal court on July 30, 2012 for an initial appearance and arraignment. Winters was detained pending trial, which is currently scheduled for October 1, 2012. The remaining five recently charged defendants are currently confined in the Black Hawk County Jail and are awaiting their initial appearance in federal court. Trial dates for these defendants will be set at that time.

 

 

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