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Press Release

Cedar Rapids Man Sentenced to More than 15 Years’ Imprisonment for Possessing Methamphetamine, a Loaded Firearm, and Over $135,000 in Drug Money

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Had drugs, drug money, a loaded firearm, ammunition, and improvised explosives hidden in air ducts, laundry dryer vents, ceiling insulation, pipes, a fake plant, and elsewhere throughout his home

A man who possessed methamphetamine with intent to distribute it and who possessed a firearm as an unlawful drug user, was sentenced today to more than 15 years in federal prison.

Joshua Ryan Gorrell, age 37, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 23, 2022 guilty plea to one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it within 1,000 feet of a protected location, and one count of possession of a firearm as an unlawful drug user.

In a plea agreement, Gorrell admitted that, on July 22, 2022, he made a 911 call regarding an overdose that occurred at his home in Cedar Rapids.  When first responders arrived, they found a deceased overdose victim.  Officers searched Gorrell’s home and found $123,038 in U.S. Currency and over two pounds of actual (pure) methamphetamine, 43 grams of fentanyl, 56 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, 68 grams of marijuana, and 238 grams of THC wax.  Evidence at the sentencing hearing showed that Gorrell stored these items throughout his house, in air ducts, laundry dryer vents, ceiling insulation, pipes, a fake plant, the freezer, and elsewhere.

Gorrell also admitted that on August 22, 2022, officers searched his home again and found a firearm, $15,253 in U.S. Currency, approximately 28 grams of ice methamphetamine, and approximately 252 grams of marijuana.  Later that day, Gorrell’s urine tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl.  Evidence at the sentencing hearing demonstrated that the firearm was loaded.

Gorrell was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Gorrell was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment and must also serve a 10-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Devra T. Hake and Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham.  It was investigated as part of the Northern Iowa Heroin Initiative and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Cedar Rapids Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Marion Police Department, and Linn County Sheriff’s Office. 

This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.         

Court file information at  

The case file number is 22-CR-59.

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Updated June 13, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses