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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cedar Rapids Teen Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison

Found with Loaded Stolen Firearm While on State Court Probation

A Cedar Rapids teenager who was arrested for possessing a firearm for the fourth time in little more than two years, and while on state court probation for possessing a firearm as a felon, was sentenced on May 18, 2020 to five years in federal prison. 

Untario Devonte McGhee, also known as “Memphis” and “Tario Nolove,” age 19, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, received the prison term after a January 6, 2020, guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

At the plea and sentencing hearings, the evidence showed that, on April 10, 2019, Cedar Rapids Police Department officers attempted to arrest McGhee on a probation violation warrant and found McGhee in a vehicle in Cedar Rapids.  As the officers neared McGhee, he locked the vehicle’s door.  The officers saw a firearm in McGhee’s right hand.  An officer ordered McGhee to raise his hands, but McGhee lowered his right hand and, when he raised it, it was empty.  Officers pulled McGhee from the vehicle and, where his right hand had been, located a loaded and stolen handgun.

At the time, McGhee was on probation in state court after he was convicted of possessing a loaded stolen firearm as a felon in November 2018.  McGhee was arrested for carrying firearms illegally in June 2018 and February 2017, as well.  McGhee also has prior arrests for possessing marijuana with intent to deliver, disorderly conduct, providing false identification information, and assault.

McGhee was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  McGhee was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.           

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.

McGhee 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 19-CR-54.

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Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated May 21, 2020