Skip to main content
Press Release

Cedar Rapids Woman Sentenced for Harboring Escapee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Provided Food, Transportation, and Shelter for Felon During Three-Day Period in January 2022

A Cedar Rapids woman who harbored and concealed a felon who had escaped from a local halfway house was sentenced on March 28, 2023, to approximately 5 months in custody.  Rachel Louise Monthie, formerly known as Rachel Louise Chronister, age 45, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the term of incarceration after a February 3, 2023 guilty plea to one count of harboring and concealing an escapee, Ricky Joe Vaughn.

In Monthie’s plea agreement, as well as at prior hearings in the Monthie and Vaughn cases, the evidence showed that Vaughn was sentenced in June 2015 to serve 96 months in federal prison for possessing firearms and ammunition illegally. Vaughn has an extensive criminal history extending back to 2001.  In addition to his prior federal firearms conviction, Vaughn’s criminal history in state court includes felony convictions for theft and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Vaughn was scheduled to be released from a federal prison in Michigan in February 2022.  In December 2021, however, the United States Bureau of Prisons permitted Vaughn to reside in a Cedar Rapids halfway house with work release privileges.  On January 10, 2022, Monthie drove to Vaughn’s workplace.  In Monthie’s presence, Vaughn cut off his ankle monitor and threw it into a nearby ditch.  Monthie drove Vaughn to a Cedar Falls hotel, where she provided food and lodging for three nights.

On January 13, 2022, Monthie drove Vaughn to her apartment in Marion, Iowa.  Monthie allowed Vaughn to use her shower and placed a loaded, chambered firearm on an ottoman next to the front door.  Monthie conducted countersurveillance against law enforcement, going in and out of the apartment on the false pretense that she was taking things from her vehicle.  Deputies of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) approached the apartment and knocked twice but received no response.  Eventually, Monthie allowed the deputies inside the apartment and told them about the firearm.  Vaughn was arrested without incident. 

Monthie has a misdemeanor criminal history, including three drunk driving offenses, that extends over two decades.  Before the sentencing hearing, Monthie’s pretrial release was revoked after she used methamphetamine and possessed a compressed air BB pistol.  Monthie was later released to a halfway house but failed to comply with its rules concerning alcohol use and re-ordered by a federal judge into USMS custody.

Monthie was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Vaughn was sentenced to a time-served sentence of 154 days of jail.  She must also serve a one-year term of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system.  In August 2022, Vaughn was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment for his escape from custody.

Monthie is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until April 20, 2023, when she is ordered to report to a local halfway house for up to 180 days.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Vavricek and investigated by the USMS. 

Court file information at

The case file numbers are 22-CR-80 (Monthie) and 22-CR-12 (Vaughn).

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated March 29, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses