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Press Release

Aplington Man Sentenced To Nine Years In Federal Prison For Unlawfully Possessing Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

Contact: Steve Young

A man who unlawfully possessed three rifles, two handguns, and 161 rounds of ammunition was sentenced today to nine years in federal prison.

Mark Harken, 32, from Aplington, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 29, 2014, guilty plea to one count of being a felon and unlawful user of methamphetamine in possession of firearms and ammunition.

At the guilty plea, Harken admitted he was a felon and unlawful user of methamphetamine, and that on April 11, 2014, he possessed five firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle.  Evidence at sentencing showed that Harken, after being pulled over by an Aplington police officer on April 11, 2014, was in possession of the firearms. Following the traffic stop, Harken assaulted the officer by punching him multiple times and by pulling a handgun and pointing it at the officer.  Harken fled from the police in his truck, reaching speeds of up to 95 mph, before eventually driving off road into a wooded area.  Harken was eventually taken into custody after a struggle, during which officers had to use a Taser on him.

Harken was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Harken was sentenced to 108 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Harken is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and investigated by the Aplington Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. 
Court file information is available at  The case file number is 14-CR-3028.

Updated February 19, 2015