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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 13, 2020

Felon Who Sold Gun to Police Sent to Prison

A man who sold a rifle during an undercover operation was sentenced on January 10, 2020, to more than one year in federal prison.

Charles John Cizek, age 41, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 20, 2019, guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In a plea agreement, Cizek admitted that on August 9, 2018, he sold a rifle to a confidential informant who was working with police.  Prior to the sale, Cizek and the informant discussed details about the transaction.  

Cizek was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Cizek was sentenced to 21 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. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the Waterloo Police Department. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1217186/download.

Cizek is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa C. Williams and was investigated by a Federal Task Force composed of the Waterloo Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms assisted by the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar Falls Police Department.  

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

The case file number is 19-cr-2015.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated January 13, 2020