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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Possessing a Gun Leads to Nearly Four Years in Prison for Domestic Abuser with Six Previous Assault Convictions

Also Had Five Previous Convictions for Interfering with the Police

A man with a lengthy and violent criminal history who illegally possessed a handgun was sentenced today to nearly four years in federal prison.

Cleveland Dwayne Smith, age 32, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 9, 2018 guilty plea to one count of possessing a firearm after being convicted of a crime of domestic violence.

At the guilty plea and in a plea agreement, Smith admitted he was driving a car in Cedar Rapids on August 3, 2017, when police stopped the car for a traffic violation.  At the time of the stop, Smith possessed a .380 caliber handgun and a magazine with five live rounds of ammunition.  Smith was prohibited from possessing guns because he had previously been convicted of a crime of domestic violence.

Information at Smith’s sentencing hearing showed that his conviction for domestic violence was one of six assault convictions on his record.  In sentencing Smith, the judge noted he had a long and violent criminal history and the victims of his violence were often women.  In addition to the assault convictions, Smith also had five previous convictions for interference with official acts, where he interfered with police while officers were performing official duties.

Smith was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Smith was sentenced to 46 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.

Smith 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 Anthony Morfitt and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force.  The task force is composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 18-CR-63.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated February 20, 2019