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Press Release

Man who Brandished Firearm at a Victim Telling Her he Does Not Mess With “Snitches” Sentenced to Federal Prison

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

A man who displayed a firearm at a female victim at a Motel 6 in Waterloo, Iowa, in an attempt to dissuade her from contacting law enforcement, was sentenced on Friday to more than eight years in federal prison.

Devonner Coleman, age 30, from St. Louis, Missouri, received the prison term after a guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In a plea agreement, Coleman admitted he was found with a .22 caliber rifle with the barrel cut off, as well as approximately 118 grams of packaged marijuana.  His fingerprints were found on the firearm and one of the baggies of marijuana.  He had previously been convicted of possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver in Black Hawk County in 2009, 2011, and 2013.  At sentencing, the victim testified that Coleman displayed the firearm at her, stating he does not mess with “snitches,” and later stepped on her foot and yelled at her while she was on the phone with a 9-1-1 operator. 

Coleman was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Coleman was sentenced to 102 months’ imprisonment and fined $100.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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

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.     

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

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-CR-2049-CJW.

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Updated March 1, 2021

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses