A man who possessed a firearm as an illegal user of a controlled substance was sentenced today to more than three years in federal prison.
Jacques Simpson, age 25, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 7, 2022 guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a drug user and one count of wire fraud.
In a plea agreement, Simpson admitted that he knowingly possessed a firearm as a drug user. Late at night on November 9, 2021, a Cedar Rapids police officer came across a vehicle parked in a city park containing Simpson and a female. The officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. After exiting the vehicle, Simpson admitted he had a firearm in his sweatshirt pocket. A Glock 19 9x19mm caliber pistol was found with a loaded magazine and one round chambered. Four additional loaded magazines of various calibers were found in Simpson’s car.
On November 24, 2021, Simpson bought another gun and lied on the ATF form about being a user of marijuana. On November 25, 2021, Simpson’s vehicle was stopped by law enforcement in Illinois. Simpson smelled of marijuana and had a BAC of .086%. During a search of Simpson, officers found the firearm purchased the day before. Nine additional loaded magazines of various calibers were found in Simpson’s car.
Simpson bought two more guns and again lied on the ATF forms about being a user of marijuana. On December 8, 2021, Simpson’s vehicle was stopped by law enforcement in Cedar Rapids. The officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Simpson admitted being an unlawful drug user and admitted smoking marijuana earlier that day. During the traffic stop, officers recovered from Simpson’s coat pocket a loaded Glock 29 firearm with a round in the chamber, along with a loaded Glock 21 firearm with a round in the chamber near the center console in the vehicle.
Simpson also admitted in the plea agreement to defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is a federal law enacted in late March 2020 that provides emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One form of such financial assistance is the authorization of forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses, through a program referred to as the Paycheck Protection Program. Simpson took out two PPP loans in March 2021 resulting in a total loss of $36,040. Simpson fraudulently claimed on the PPP loan application forms that he had viable businesses which in fact never existed, had no employees or any payroll expenses.
Simpson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Simpson was sentenced to 45 months’ imprisonment. He was ordered to pay $19,790 in restitution to Capital Plus Financial, LLC, and $16, 250 in restitution to the Small Business Administration. He must also serve a two-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Simpson 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 Dillan Edwards and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
This case is 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 https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 22-CR-21.
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