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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waterloo Project Safe Neighborhoods

Waterloo, Iowa—Across the country, as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), cities have established innovative law enforcement strategies that have proven effective in addressing violent crime.  The purpose of PSN is to reduce incidences of gun violence.  It is carried out most effectively through the development of partnerships among federal, state and local governments.  Waterloo law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office continued that effort yesterday in a sweep targeting seven individuals prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition.

A joint press conference was held at the Waterloo City Hall the day following the unsealing of the complaints in federal court against the seven individuals charged with federal gun crimes.

A spike in firearm related incidents in the recent past caused local law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s for the Northern District of Iowa to examine the patterns of criminal activity and to take decisive action to address it.  U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau stated, “This focus helps ensure the public’s law enforcement resources are put to their best and most efficient use.” Techau further noted, “As we enter the summer months, those thinking of using or possessing a weapon illegally are on notice—expect to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka and Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson joined in the press conference, each noting their commitment to keeping the streets and county safe.  Both noted, “One way we will do this is by holding offenders accountable.”  Black Hawk County Attorney Tom Ferguson stated, “Through a collaborative teamwork approach we have made a statement to those thinking of committing a crime.  If you do, expected to be arrested and prosecuted.”

The recent charges cover a spectrum of federal firearm violations, such as: felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and domestic abuser in possession of a firearm.  Each violation is punishable by the following maximum penalties: (1) up to 10 years’ imprisonment without the possibility of parole; (2) a fine up to $250,000; (3) a mandatory special assessment of $100; and (4) a term of supervised release up to 3 years.

Project Safe Neighborhoods public service announcements offer compelling narratives depicting how gun violence affects the family:

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Updated May 27, 2015