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Press Release

Drug User and Convicted Domestic Abuser Sentenced to Over Three Years in Prison for Possessing a Loaded Gun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A Cedar Rapids man who illegally possessed a loaded firearm was sentenced on January 6, 2021, to more than three years in federal prison.

Thomas Anthony Wallace, age 34, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 19, 2020 guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Information disclosed at sentencing showed that on October 14, 2019, Cedar Rapids police officers were searching for Wallace for violating his state probation.  They found Wallace in the driver’s seat of a parked Toyota Camry.  After smelling marijuana, officers searched Wallace’s car and recovered a loaded firearm and marijuana.  Wallace was prohibited from possessing firearms because he was a drug user and had previously been convicted of multiple crimes of domestic violence. 

Wallace was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  He was sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment, and he must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Wallace is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison. 

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. For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Dillan Edwards and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-CR-00043.

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Updated January 7, 2021

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses