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Press Release

Waterloo Man Sentenced to Over Seven Years in Federal Prison After Being Involved in Two Shooting Incidents

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Had Prior Federal Felony Offense from Indiana

A man who possessed firearm that he used in two shootings was sentenced September 1, 2020, to more than seven years in federal prison.

Leon Orlando Jackson, age 44, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a March 3, 2020, guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon.

At the plea hearing, Jackson admitted possessing a firearm after being convicted of three felony offenses, including possession of a stolen auto, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of cocaine.  The prior firearm offense was a federal conviction out of Indiana.  Filings in the case showed that on April 23, 2017, defendant was involved in two shootings in Waterloo, including one that left a victim with an injury to his leg.

Jackson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Jackson was sentenced to 87 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.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

Jackson 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 Emily K. Nydle and was investigated by a Federal Task Force composed of the Waterloo Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted by the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar Falls Police Department.

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-cr-2036.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated September 2, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses