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Press Release

Three Time Felon in Possession of Assault Rifle Sentenced to More Than Thirteen Years’ in Prison

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

A man who possessed an AR-15 rifle was sentenced today to more than thirteen years in federal prison.

David Wright, Jr., age 23, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a June 10, 2021 guilty plea to two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms.

Evidence in the case showed that Wright and another individual were following an unmarked police car in Waterloo.  A marked police car attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Wright’s vehicle, but the driver refused to stop and fled from police at high rates of speed.  Once the vehicle stopped, Wright fled on foot.  Police located an AR-15 rifle that was fully loaded with a round in the chamber on the seat where Wright was seated.  The AR-15 rifle had previously been stolen.  The month before, Wright was in possession of a .45 caliber handgun.  At the time that Wright possessed these handguns, he was serving a term of federal supervised released, having previously been convicted for illegally possessing firearms as a drug user.

Wright was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Wright was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  Judge Williams also imposed an additional twelve-month sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release.  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.

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

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa C. Williams and was investigated by a 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. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21-CR-2008.

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Updated February 11, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses