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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Cedar Rapids Multiple Time Felon Sentenced to Over Seven Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Firearms

Stole Firearms During Spree of Car Burglaries Last Summer

A multi-time felon who committed a spree of car burglaries in Cedar Rapids in June and July 2018 was sentenced today to more than seven years in federal prison. 

Michael Shannon Adams, age 41, from Cedar Rapids, received the prison term after a September 28, 2018, guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon.

Evidence in the case established that, on June 24, 2018, Adams broke into a truck in Cedar Rapids and stole three guns and an $800 pool cue from the truck’s owner.  Adams broke both driver side windows of the truck to get inside.  On June 26, 2018, Adams returned to the scene, broke into the same truck a second time, and stole the owner’s garage door open.  Then, on June 30, 2018, Adams broke into two more vehicles outside a union hall in Cedar Rapids and stole the owners’ purses.  One of the victims jumped into her vehicle and chased Adams, but Adams escaped on foot around a chain-link fence.

On July 2, 2018, Adams broke into more vehicles in Cedar Rapids near Hawkeye Downs.  Law enforcement officers responded and saw Adams discard a plastic bag into some greenery.  Officers arrested Adams and found one of the three stolen firearms in the bag.  The firearm was loaded and there was a round chambered.  Officers also found knives on Adams’s person.  Adams eventually confessed to stealing the three firearms on June 24, 2018, and officers found one of the two remaining stolen firearms in Adams’ residence.  This second firearm was also loaded.  Further, officers found over 300 rounds of ammunition, a small amount of methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia in Adams’ residence.  Officers were unable to recover the third firearm, which Adams said was in a “hiding spot” around his residence.

Adams has a lengthy criminal history, which dates back to 1996 and spans multiple states.  Before his arrest and prosecution in this federal case, Adams was convicted of felonies in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Woodbury County, Iowa.  Adams’ criminal history includes convictions for breaking and entering, second-degree burglary, receiving stolen goods, conspiracy to commit robbery, and theft.  In 2005, Adams was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery in Woodbury County after he and two other individuals entered a residence to steal property.  In that case, Adams and one of his coconspirators wore masks.  The victim of the home invasion was held at knife-point during the robbery.   

Adams was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Adams was sentenced to 90 months’ imprisonment.  He was ordered to make $475.66 in restitution to one of his victims.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Adams 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 Tim Vavricek and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 18-CR-89-CJW.

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Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated April 12, 2019