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Press Release

Posing on Social Media with Guns and Drugs Leads Waterloo Man to Federal Prison

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

A man who made several social media posts posing with guns and marijuana was sentenced today to nearly three years in federal prison.

Joshua Adam Rode, age 24, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a June 30, 2021 guilty plea to one count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

In a plea agreement, Rode admitted he had made several social media posts depicting himself with marijuana and firearms.  Waterloo police officers then located Rode sitting in his car in a residential neighborhood in Waterloo.  Officers approached Rode’s car, smelled the odor of marijuana, and asked him to step out of the car.  Rode then retrieved an item from under the driver’s seat and attempted to run through responding officers.  The officers stopped Rode and arrested him, finding a loaded handgun, with a round chambered, underneath Rode on the ground.  Officers then found marijuana inside Rode’s car. 

Rode was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Rode was sentenced to 33 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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.

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

The case was investigated by the Waterloo Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Gillespie and Dan Chatham. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21‑CR‑02036-CJW‑MAR.

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Updated November 2, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses