A Hiawatha man who was an unlawful user of controlled substances and possessed a gun he used to threaten his neighbors was sentenced today to more than 3 years in federal prison.
Austin Bowers, age 25, from Hiawatha, received the prison term after a January 29, 2020 guilty plea to being an unlawful user of controlled substances in possession of a firearm.
In a plea agreement, Bowers admitted that on October 4, 2019, there were two disturbances at a home in northwest Cedar Rapids. That evening, Bowers had an argument with his fiancé, which then led to a disturbance with his neighbors. When the Cedar Rapids Police Department arrived, Bowers was in his neighbor’s garage, threatening the neighbors with a loaded Taurus PT 111 Millennium G2 9mm semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine.
Bowers was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Bowers was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment. Bowers must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Bowers 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 Matthew J. Cole and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
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 https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1217186/download.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 20-CR-1.
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