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Press Release

Second Federal Conviction for Possessing a Gun and Drugs Nets Cedar Rapids Felon Over Thirty Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Previously Convicted of Drug Trafficking With a Gun in 2000 and also for Possessing a Weapon While in Federal Prison in 2005

A man who tossed a loaded semi-automatic pistol and a bag of marijuana into a wooded area near the I-380 and Glass Road interchange in Cedar Rapids after a car accident in July 2017 was sentenced November 7, 2018, to more than 33 years in federal prison.

David Tachay Heard, age 40, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 24, 2018, jury verdict finding him guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Evidence at trial showed that on July 30, 2017, Heard ran a red light and crashed into another car at the Glass Road and I-380 interchange.  Heard drove his car to a more secluded spot on Redbud Road and tossed a bag of marijuana and a gun into the nearby brush.  Someone driving by in a car saw him do so and called 911.  The evidence at trial also showed that after Heard was arrested, the witness received calls from a girlfriend of an associate of Heard, telling the witness that Heard had his name and address.

Heard’s cousin purchased the gun that Heard possessed in 2013.  Heard’s cousin testified at trial that he did not give Heard permission to have the gun, because he knew Heard was a felon.

In 2000, Heard was convicted in federal court in Cedar Rapids of possessing a gun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  He was sentenced to more than ten years in prison.  While in federal prison in 2005, Heard was convicted of possessing a weapon in the prison.

Heard was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Heard was sentenced to 397 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Heard 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 Attorneys Tim Vavricek and Lyndie Freeman and investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address the tide of rising violent crime in America, the Department of Justice announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-CR-83-LRR.

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Updated November 8, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods