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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Felon and Drug User Sentenced to Fifteen Years in Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing a Firearm

Previously Convicted of Burglary Three Times

A Cedar Rapids man who unlawfully possessed a firearm was sentenced yesterday to fifteen years in federal prison.

Carlos Dejuan Hutchinson, age 41, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Information disclosed at sentencing showed that, on October 12, 2019, Hutchinson was the front-seat passenger in a truck that was stopped by police.  Hutchinson and the driver were both removed from the truck.  Officers found a pistol in the right rear pocket of Hutchinson’s pants.  Hutchinson was arrested and placed in the back of a police car, where he attempted to ditch a methamphetamine pipe.  At the guilty plea, Hutchinson admitted he possessed the firearm while he was an unlawful user of methamphetamine and after he had previously been convicted of three burglaries.  He faced a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence because of his three prior burglary convictions.

Hutchinson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Hutchinson was sentenced to 180 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.  Hutchinson is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Dillan Edwards and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force.  The task force is composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department. 

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 https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1217186/download.

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

The case file number is 19-CR-00129.

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Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated September 29, 2020