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Press Release

Waterloo Man to Spend Seven Years in Prison for Possessing a Sawed-Off Shotgun after Multiple Felony Convictions

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Displayed Firearm During Heated Disagreement With Neighbor While Using Racially Charged Language

A man who possessed a sawed-off shotgun was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison.

Levi Farren Miller, age 30, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 7, 2020 guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Evidence at sentencing hearing showed that Miller displayed a sawed-off shotgun while in a heated disagreement with a neighbor regarding the neighbor moving Miller’s items off the neighbor’s porch.  Miller, a white male, used racially charged language during the confrontation.  Miller had previously been convicted of multiple felonies, including burglary twice, theft twice, attempted burglary, and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Miller was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Miller 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 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.  The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support our Project Guardian partners. For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

Miller 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 investigated by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Waterloo Police Department.

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-cr-02031.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated August 27, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses