Home Omaha Press Releases 2013 Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force Reports Several New Firearms Arrests

Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force Reports Several New Firearms Arrests

U.S. Attorney’s Office June 28, 2013
  • Northern District of Iowa (319) 363-6333

The Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force continues to make Cedar Rapids safer. United States Attorney Sean R. Berry reported the task force’s recent accomplishments at a press conference held at the Cedar Rapids Police Department. Other participants in the press conference included Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas Metz, and Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman.

“The Safe Streets Task Force targets the most dangerous criminal offenders in our area—with a special focus on those who unlawfully use and possess firearms,” said Berry. “This focus helps ensure the public’s law enforcement resources are put to their best and most efficient use.”

In June 2009, following a spike in violent crime in the Cedar Rapids area, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies met to share intelligence regarding local gang activity and to assess the need for a formal task force to combat gang, drug, and violent criminal activity. As a result, the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force was formed in September 2009. The task force acts as a repository for gang related intelligence in the Cedar Rapids area and coordinates federal, state, and local resources to target the worst and most dangerous offenders in the area.

The task force today is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and composed of representatives from the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. Task force personnel work closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; United States Marshals Service; Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation; Marion Police Department; Linn County Sheriff’s Office; and Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Task force cases are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Linn County Attorney’s Office.

Resources from the Safe Streets Task Force are available to all law enforcement agencies with related investigations, whether or not those agencies are members of the task force.

According to Special Agent in Charge Thomas Metz of the FBI, “the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force combines federal law enforcement’s national perspective and resources with local law enforcement’s experience and familiarity in the local community. This formula has worked well in other parts of the country since 1992 and has been an effective means of addressing local gang, drug, and violent crime here in Cedar Rapids.”

“I am committed to keeping the streets of Cedar Rapids safe,” said Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman. “One way we will do this is by holding offenders accountable. If someone commits a crime in Cedar Rapids with a weapon, expect to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent. It is through partnerships with the Department of Corrections and the FBI, that we can form the Safe Streets Task Force and arrest those that violate our gun laws. And with prosecution from the United States Attorney’s and Linn County Attorney’s offices, we are able to hold offenders accountable to the fullest extent. The Cedar Rapids Police Department will not tolerate violence, especially violence with the use of a firearm in Cedar Rapids.”

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said, “Through a collaborative teamwork approach, the Cedar Rapid’s Safe Streets Task Force has demonstrated great success in apprehending and prosecuting violent offenders, which makes our community a safer place in which to live. The Linn County Attorney’s Office is grateful to be a part of this effort, and we are committed to promoting the objectives of the task force by concentrating our resources on the vigorous prosecution of those who commit crimes of violence.”

In recent weeks, the task force’s work has resulted in the following matters in federal court in Cedar Rapids:

Recent Arrests and Indictments

  • On June 27, 2013, Clyde Bell Jr. was arrested on charges of unlawfully possessing a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Bell allegedly possessed the handgun on or about April 23, 2013, following a felony conviction in Cook County, Illinois, for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and following a misdemeanor conviction in Linn County, Iowa, for domestic abuse assault causing injury. The case file number is CR 13-34.
  • On June 27, 2013, Dustin Whitford was indicted on charges of unlawful possession of a .360 caliber pistol. Whitford allegedly possessed the pistol on or about June 19, 2013, following a felony conviction for possession of drug precursors in Linn County, Iowa. Whitford is in law enforcement custody pending his first appearance in federal court. The case file number is CR 13-50.
  • On June 27, 2013, Ramius Hardiman made his first appearance in federal court on charges of unlawfully possessing a 9mm pistol. Hardiman allegedly possessed the pistol on or about May 8, 2013, following a felony conviction in Linn County, Iowa, for involuntary manslaughter. The case file number is CR 13-37.
  • On or about June 27, 2013, Demetrius Hardiman was arrested on charges of unlawfully disposing of a 9mm pistol to Ramius Hardiman, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe Ramius Hardiman had been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. Demetrius Hardiman allegedly gave the pistol to Ramius Hardiman on or about May 8, 2013. The case file number is CR 13-37.
  • On or about June 27, 2013, Eric Lavell Johnson was arrested on charges of unlawfully possessing two .22 caliber firearms. Johnson allegedly possessed the firearms on or about February 19, 2013, while Johnson was an unlawful user of marijuana. Johnson has also been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute on or about February 19, 2013. The case file number is CR 13-39.
  • On or about June 26, 2013, Rhamond Bolden was arrested on charges of unlawfully possessing a 9mm pistol and ammunition. Bolden allegedly possessed the firearm and ammunition on or about April 7, 2013, while Bolden was an unlawful user of marijuana. The case file number is CR 13-40.
  • On June 26, 2013, Austin Curtis was indicted on charges of unlawfully possessing a 9mm pistol while being a fugitive from justice. Curtis allegedly possessed the firearm on or about April 22, 2013. Curtis is in law enforcement custody pending his first appearance in federal court. The case file number is CR 13-46.
  • On June 26, 2013, Colby Palmer was indicted on charges of unlawfully possessing a .357 magnum revolver, .357 magnum ammunition, and a .22 caliber pistol. Palmer allegedly possessed the firearms and ammunition on or about June 6, 2013, following felony convictions for burglary and interference with the official acts of a correctional officer inflicting bodily injury in Linn County, Iowa. Palmer is in law enforcement custody pending his first appearance in federal court. The case file number is CR 13-41.
  • On June 26, 2013, Daevon Evans was indicted on charges of unlawfully possessing a 9mm pistol. Evans allegedly possessed the pistol on or about June 23, 2013, while Evans was an unlawful user of marijuana. Evans is in law enforcement custody pending his first appearance in federal court. The case file number is CR 13-43.
  • On June 4, 2013, William Robison was indicted on charges of unlawfully possessing a 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number and unlawful possession of 9mm ammunition. Robison allegedly possessed the firearm and ammunition on or about April 18, 2013, while Robison was an unlawful user of marijuana. Robison is in law enforcement custody pending his first appearance in federal court. The case file number is CR 13-35.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Recent Convictions and Sentences

  • On June 4, 2013, Kelsey Beckett was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment for possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Beckett’s co-defendant, Andre Kase, was sentenced on May 9, 2013, to 71 months’ imprisonment for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Beckett and Kase were arrested together on October 8, 2012, after a neighbor reported they were attempting to break into a house in Cedar Rapids. Both were found to be in possession of loaded firearms. The case file number is CR 12-55.
  • On May 21, 2013, Gregory Givens was convicted by a jury of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute. Evidence at trial showed that, on October 7, 2010, Givens was stopped by a Cedar Rapids police officer for a traffic violation. Givens was found to have a large quantity of marijuana and a box of 9mm ammunition in the car. A December 22, 2010, search warrant at Givens’ residence produced additional marijuana and crack cocaine. Givens had previously been convicted in Cook County, Illinois, of felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. The case file number is CR 12-55.
  • On May 7, 2013, Kevin Herring was sentenced to 90 months’ imprisonment for being a felon and domestic abuser in possession of a firearm. The sentence followed Herring’s guilty plea for possessing an assault rifle on March 24, 2012. Herring had three prior convictions for domestic abuse assault and one prior conviction for domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury, all in Linn County, Iowa. Herring also had one prior conviction for felony possession of a controlled substance from Cook County, Illinois. The case file number is CR 12-93.

Request for Public Assistance

Law enforcement is also seeking the public’s assistance in locating the following person in connection with federal weapons charges:

Name: Andre Corbett
Age: 24
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 220 lbs.
Last known address: 11 Glenbrook Dr. SE # 204, Cedar Rapids
http://www.justice.gov/usao/ian/news/2013/jun_13/Corbett_Andre.pdf (photo)

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of this person is asked to call the Cedar Rapids Police Department at 286-5491, or Linn County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CS-Crime (272-7463) to report information anonymously. Persons can also provide information via text message by sending a text to CRIMES (274637) and, in the message/subject area, type 5227 along with the information.

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