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Press Release

Kenyan Native Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of Gun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Man Pointed Rifle at Neighbor and her Child Leading to a Near 11-hour Stand-off With Police

A Kenyan native who entered the United States in 2003 on a student visa and whose lawful visa status ended in 2004, was sentenced on May 7, 2018, to 5 years in federal prison for unlawfully possessing a gun as an unauthorized alien.

Kevin Oscar Naholi, age 41, most recently from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 20, 2017, jury verdict finding him guilty of one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a prohibited person.

Evidence at trial showed that at about 6:00 p.m. on August 26, 2017, Naholi was outside his residence on 11th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids when a neighbor and her two young sons were returning home on foot from an evening dinner.  Naholi was armed with a long rifle.  The neighbor observed Naholi with the rifle from a short distance away and was startled.  The neighbor yelled at Naholi to put the gun down and warned Naholi he could get in trouble for having the gun.  Naholi responded by pointing the rifle in the direction of the neighbor and her children, causing them to flee in fear to a nearby house.  From there the neighbor called the police.  Naholi retreated into his home and refused to come out despite prolonged efforts by the police to negotiate his peaceful surrender.  Police eventually deployed tear gas into the house, but to no avail.  At about 4:45 a.m. after also deploying a robot into the house, a Cedar Rapids Police SWAT team entered and took Naholi into custody.  The rifle was found at the foot of a bed in the house.  Police also found a machete in another room along with Naholi’s cell phone and other property.  

At the sentencing hearing on Monday, the government presented evidence of Naholi’s violent criminal history, including multiple incidents of domestic abuse of a prior spouse who later divorced him.  The evidence also showed Naholi married a second woman nearly 40 years his senior in 2015 while he was incarcerated and immigration removal proceedings were pending against him.  Naholi later sought to be granted lawful permanent residence based upon his second marriage, but that request was denied by immigration authorities.  Naholi’s second wife served him with divorce papers on August 26, 2017, the day he was found to have unlawfully possessed a firearm.          

Naholi was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Naholi was sentenced to serve 60 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

At sentencing, Judge Reade found Naholi posed a serious risk to the public and noted Naholi had numerous prior criminal convictions that made him likely to recidivate. 

Naholi will be subject to removal from the United States to Kenya upon completion of service of his sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Murphy and investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with the assistance of the Cedar Rapids Police Department. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-CR-00070.

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Updated May 9, 2018

Firearms Offenses
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