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Press Release

High-Speed Chase Results in Federal Firearms Sentence

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

A Cedar Falls, Iowa, man who led Waterloo police officers on a high-speed chase on March 6, 2020, was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison.

Rocky Truax, age 34, from Cedar Falls, Iowa, received the prison term after an October 1, 2020 guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

At the plea and in the sentencing hearing, evidence showed that Truax was involved in a traffic stop on December 11, 2019, which resulted in the seizure of a handgun with a partially obliterated serial number, and a quantity of methamphetamine.  On March 6, 2020, Truax led Waterloo police officers on a high-speed chase on Highway 218 in which he reached speeds of 80-mph in a 45-mph zone while driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.  The chase ended when Truax crashed his car.  A subsequent search of Truax’s home resulted in the seizure of another firearm and stolen property.

Truax was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge  C.J. Williams.  Truax was sentenced to 84 months’ imprisonment and must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and investigated by the Waterloo Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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.

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-CR-2030.

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Updated March 1, 2021

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses