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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 24, 2017

More Than Fifteen Men Charged With Violations of Federal Gun Laws

Law enforcement agencies across Iowa continue to make the area safer by addressing the problem of gun crime and violence. Acting United States Attorney Sean R. Berry announced charges and arrests in seventeen recent federal gun cases at a press conference held at the United States Attorney’s Office. Berry was joined by Donald Dockendorf, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Thomas Reinwart, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Captain Dave Mohlis, Waterloo Police Department, Deputy Chief Thomas Jonker, Cedar Rapids Police Department, and Corporal James Hancox, Marion Police Department.

 

“As Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently emphasized, the Department of Justice is committed to investigating, prosecuting, and deterring violent crime,” Berry said. “Historically, gun violence and crime rise sharply as temperatures rise. With summer approaching, my office will continue to work with the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force, Waterloo Federal Task Force, and all of our federal, state, and local partners to combat violent crime by prosecuting the most dangerous of criminal offenders, including those who unlawfully possess and use firearms.”

 

In recent weeks, the work of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies has resulted in the following matters in federal court in Cedar Rapids:

 

Erwin Bell, age 36, of Clinton, Iowa, Gerraud Bruns, age 26, of Dubuque, Iowa, David Caldwell, age 27, from Chicago, Illinois, Daniel Henriksen, age 29, of Elgin, Iowa, Albert Gunnard Linne, age 42, of Lowden, Iowa, Troy Postel-Vargason, 34, from Independence, Iowa, Nicodimus Coles, age 21, Derek Hines, age 32, James Mitchell, age 36, Terrence Clark Shaffer, age 23, and Darryl Williams, age 29, all of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Willie Johnson, age 45, Wayne Jones, age 37, Dayton Myers, age 20, Anntwan Dayshawn Phillips, age 25, Jyshawn Robertson, age 19, and Eric Sallis, age 26, all of Waterloo, Iowa, have all been charged with various violations of federal law including possessing a firearm as a felon or drug user. The charges are contained in Complaints and Indictments filed recently in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.

 

The complaint filed against Bell alleges that, on February 4, 2017, Bell possessed a loaded .22 caliber revolver after being convicted of seven separate felony offenses. An officer with the Mount Vernon Police Department Police conducted a traffic stop on a car in which Bell was seated in the front passenger seat. During the course of the traffic stop, Bell assaulted the officer by striking him. Bell then fled on foot, and the officer pursued him. After the officer caught him, Bell continued to assault the officer, punching and kicking him in the face. Bell removed the officer’s baton and struck the officer with the baton in an attempt to gain access to the officer’s taser. Bell was eventually placed under arrest. During a search of the car, police located drug paraphernalia, baggies, a scale, marijuana, and cocaine. The case file is 17-MJ-65.

 

The indictment filed against Bruns, alleges that, on May 6, 2016, Bruns possessed a .40 caliber pistol and .40 caliber ammunition while being an unlawful user of marijuana. Bruns had his first appearance in federal court in Minnesota on November 22, 2016. He was released on bond and scheduled for a second court appearance in Iowa on November 28, 2016. Bruns failed to appear for that hearing and was later arrested in Minnesota on April 6, 2017. He had his first court appearance in Iowa on April 20, 2017. The case file is 16-CR-1036 and 17-MJ-351 (District of Minnesota).

 

The complaint filed against Caldwell alleges that, on February 3, 2017, Caldwell possessed a .22 caliber revolver while being an unlawful user of marijuana. The complaint alleges that on February 3 officers with the Dubuque Police Department responded to a report of a disturbance, including a possible shooting. Officers found a man who had been shot in the leg. During a subsequent traffic stop, officers located Caldwell in possession of marijuana, and a .22 caliber revolver. The case filed is 17-MJ-131.

 

The complaint filed against Henriksen alleges that, on June 17, 2016, law enforcement officers and emergency medical personnel responded to Henriksen’s home in Elgin after receiving a 911 call reporting that a four-year old boy had shot himself in the head. Once at the residence, they located a child suffering from a gunshot wound to his head. The child was transported to Palmer Lutheran Hospital in West Union, Iowa, where he was later pronounced dead. The complaint also alleges that during the investigation of the child’s death, investigators determined that Henriksen was the owner of the firearm used in the shooting, which was a Glock 36, .45 caliber handgun. During a search of Henriksen’s residence, officers seized several items of drug paraphernalia, including marijuana smoking devices. The case file is 17-MJ-120 and 17-CR-2021

 

The complaint filed against Linne alleges that, on October 25, 2016, Linne possessed a loaded .45 caliber pistol and .45 caliber ammunition after being convicted of three separate felony offenses. The complaint alleges that on October 25, police executed a search warrant at Linne’s residence in Lowden and seized the firearm and two loaded magazines from the master bedroom, as well as additional ammunition from a kitchen drawer. The case file is 17-MJ-83 and 17-CR-22.

 

The indictment filed against Myers alleges that, on January 3, 2017, Meyers possessed a .22 caliber pistol while being an unlawful user of marijuana. Evidence presented during a court hearing detailed that at approximately 8:00 p.m. on January 3, Myers discharged the firearm towards a home. The case file is 17-CR-2018.

 

The complaint filed against Phillips alleges that on March 18, 2017, Phillips possessed a loaded AP 7.65 Browning firearm after being convicted of a felony offense. The complaint alleges that on March 18, Waterloo police officers responded to a report of shots fired near Ankeny Street. Officers located Phillips nearby and in possession of the firearm. The case file is 17-MJ-129.

 

The complaint filed against Postel-Vargason alleges that, on February 9, 2017, Postel-Vargason possessed a loaded 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number after being convicted of two separate felony offenses. The complaint alleges that on February 9, officers with the Independence Iowa Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious person lying in a field and located Postel-Vargason in a hypothermic state. Postel-Vargason was also in possession of the firearm, cash, and more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The case file is 17-MJ-127.

 

The complaint filed against Sallis alleges that, on November 27, 2016, Sallis possessed ammunition as a felon and on December 10, 2016, Sallis possessed a firearm and ammunition as a felon. The complaint alleges that on November 27, police responded to reports of a shooting on Kern Street in Waterloo. Witnesses reported that Sallis had shot at another male multiple times. During the investigation, police seized 9mm FC shell casings from the scene. On December 10, police located Sallis outside an apartment building. Police arrested Sallis and executed a search warrant at an apartment associated with Sallis. Officers seized a 9mm pistol, loaded with FC 9mm ammunition, and marijuana from the apartment. Sallis admitted to possessing both the firearm and marijuana. The case file is 17-MJ-0071 and 17-CR-2017.

 

The complaint filed against Shaffer alleges that, on February 1, 2017, Shaffer possessed a loaded 9mm handgun after being convicted of three separate felony offenses. On February 1, Marion Police responded to a residence after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance. Shaffer was present and placed under arrest. During a search of the residence, police located a loaded 9mm handgun, cocaine, a digital scale, $835, and cell phones. Photographs depicting Shaffer in possession of the firearm were later recovered. The case file is 17-MJ-130.

 

The complaint against Williams alleges that on January 31, 2017, Williams possessed a loaded 9mm pistol and additional 9mm ammunition after being convicted of three separate felony offenses and two prior misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. On January 31, officers conducted a traffic stop on a car driven by Williams. During the stop, Williams fled on foot from officers. Officers eventually placed him under arrest and discover a loaded 9mm pistol in his pants and a loaded magazine in his pants pocket. Officers also found marijuana in a separate pocket. The case file is 17-MJ-132.

 

The indictment filed against Coles alleges that, on October 29, 2016, Coles possessed an AR-556 rifle after being convicted of a felony offense. The indictment also alleges that Coles knowingly made a false statement while purchasing the firearm, by falsely representing that he had never previously been convicted of a felony. The case file is 17-CR-21.

 

The indictment filed against Hines alleges that, on January 31, 2107, Hines possessed a 9mm pistol after being convicted of a felony offense and while being an unlawful user of methamphetamine. The case file is 17-CR-0200.

 

The indictment filed against Willie Johnson alleges that, on March 25, 2017, Johnson possessed a 9mm pistol after being convicted of two separate felony offenses. The indictment also alleges that the firearm possessed by Johnson was stolen, and Johnson knew and had reasonable cause to believe that the firearm was stolen. The case file is 17-CR-2019.

 

The complaint filed against Jones alleges that, on April 12, 2017, Jones possessed a loaded 9mm handgun and 9mm ammunition after being convicted of a felony offense and as an unlawful user of marijuana. The case file is 17-MJ-134.

 

The indictment filed against Mitchell alleges that, on October 8, 2016, Mitchell possessed .45 caliber ammunition after being convicted of a felony offense. The case file is 17-CR-19.

 

The indictment filed against Robertson alleges that, on June 21, 2016, Robertson possessed a 9mm rifle and ammunition while being an unlawful user of marijuana. The case file is 17-CR-2020.

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If convicted on these charges, all defendants face a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.­

 

Defendants Troy Postel-Vargason and Willie Johnson remain fugitives. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Willie Johnson or Troy Postel-Vargason is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 319-232-5583 or 855-300-8477.

 

Willie Johnson is a 45-year-old black male, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He is pictured below:

 

Willie Johnson

 

 

Troy Postel-Vargason is a 34-year-old white male, approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He is pictured below:

 

Troy Postel-Vargason

 

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

The cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force (composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshal Service, and the Cedar Rapids Police Department); the Waterloo 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); the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Dubuque Police Department, the Marion Police Department, the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Waterloo Police Department, the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fayette County Sheriff’s and are being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a cooperative local, state and federal program aimed at the enhanced prosecution of gun crimes.

 

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated April 24, 2017