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Press Release

Cedar Rapids Man Sentenced to Nearly a Decade in Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing a Gun During Home Invasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Broke Into a House to Steal Drugs and Money

A Cedar Rapids man who went with an associate to rob others of money and drugs using a firearm was sentenced March 23, 2020, to 114 months in federal prison.

Carl McArthur, age 40, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison sentence following an October 24, 2019 jury verdict.  The jury deliberated for nine hours before finding McArthur guilty of one count of being in possession of a firearm, specifically a Taurus .45LC/.410 caliber “Judge” handgun, after having been convicted of a 2003 misdemeanor domestic abuse assault in Linn County, Iowa, and a 2009 federal felony firearm conviction. 

The evidence at trial and sentencing showed that on March 17, 2018, McArthur and an associate entered a house on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids.  They were armed with firearms.  McArthur and his associate planned to rob the occupants of the house of any money or methamphetamine in their possession.  Three of the occupants of the house testified that McArthur and his associate forced their way into the house, assaulted them, and threatened to shoot them and pour hot grease on them in an effort to get money and drugs from them.  One of the occupants called 911, and officers from the Cedar Rapids Police Department responded within minutes.  The officers found McArthur inside the residence, and his associate was outside.  The associate fled the scene, leaving behind the ski mask he wore to conceal his identity.  Officers searched the house and found a Taurus .45LC/.410 caliber “Judge” handgun, a 9mm handgun, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. 

McArthur was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  McArthur was sentenced to 114 months’ and 20 days’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley Corkery and Patrick Reinert and was investigated by Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force.  The task force is composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

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 also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from its Project Guardian partners.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

Court file information at

The case file number is 18-CR-0102.

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Updated March 24, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime