Skip to main content
Press Release

Three-Time Federal Felon Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Possessing a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Led police on a high-speed chase while intoxicated and threw his gun out the car window

A convicted felon who received his third federal conviction earlier this year was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison.

Robert Hopkins, age 39, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to felon in possession of a firearm.

Evidence in the case showed that on December 1, 2022, Hopkins was driving a car at 1:19 a.m. when he ran a stop sign in Cedar Rapids.  Officers with the Cedar Rapids Police Department attempted to stop him.  Hopkins pulled over briefly, but then sped away.  Hopkins reached speeds of over 50 mph in 25 mph zones as he led officers on a chase through residential areas.  Officers pursued him and saw Hopkins throw an object out his window.  Hopkins eventually lost control of his car, spun out, and rolled into a squad car.  He told officers that he was “severely intoxicated.”

After taking Hopkins into custody, officers looked for the object he had thrown out of the car.  They eventually located a loaded .40 caliber handgun laying on the driveway of a residence.  The gun had previously been reported stolen from a Cedar Rapids resident in 2022.

This conviction was Hopkins’ third federal conviction in the Northern District of Iowa.  In 2007, he was convicted of distributing crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of ammunition.  In 2015, he was convicted for distributing heroin.  He also has state convictions for assault and drug related crimes.

Hopkins was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Hopkins was sentenced to 84 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 is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Hopkins 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 Jason Norwood and Anthony Morfitt and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-CR-30.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated September 29, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses