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Press Release

Cedar Rapids Man Pleads Guilty to Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

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

A felon who possessed a firearm pled guilty on July 19, 2021, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Leon Sheley, age 23, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  At the plea hearing, Sheley admitted that, on May 20, 2020, he knowingly possessed a pistol after having been convicted of three crimes punishable by more than one year of imprisonment.  Sheley admitted he had prior convictions for theft in the second degree in 2016, theft in the first degree in 2016, and escape from custody in 2017.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Sheley remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Sheley faces a possible maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Court file information is available at  The case file number is CR 21-17.

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Updated July 20, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses