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Press Release

Former Anamosa Correctional Officer Sentenced to Prison

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

A former Anamosa Penitentiary Correctional Officer who possessed firearms while he was an unlawful drug user was sentenced yesterday to 17 months in federal prison.

Ethan Darrow, age 29, from Anamosa, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to one count of being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm.  In a plea agreement, Darrow admitted that while employed as a Correctional Officer at the Anamosa Penitentiary between 2012 and 2015, he was assigned tower guard duty from time to time.  When serving tower guard duty, he was issued semi-automatic assault rifle.  He served guard tower duty on more than fifty times during 2014.  Darrow admitted that during 2014, he was a regular, unlawful user of marijuana and cocaine.

Darrow was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Darrow was sentenced to 17 months’ imprisonment and fined $5,000.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Darrow was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and investigated by the Anamosa State Penitentiary, the Iowa Department of Corrections, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Court file information at 

The case file number is 15-cr-90-LRR.

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Updated January 4, 2016

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