A Sergeant Bluff man who possessed guns while being an unlawful user of controlled substances was sentenced January 13, 2022 to more than 4 years in federal prison.
Rafael Wellesley Gomez, age 20, also known as “Danger” from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa received the prison term after a September 23, 2021, guilty plea to possession of firearms by a drug user.
Evidence in the case revealed Gomez’s illegally possessed six guns while being an unlawful user of marijuana. The guns were found during a search warrant of Gomez’s residence in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa during a murder investigation. When law enforcement entered the residence, Gomez failed to comply with officers’ orders to put his hands in the air and law enforcement observed him placing his hands in the pockets of his jeans and near his waistband. Gomez continued to disregard law enforcement’s verbal orders and concealed a Walther .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol under the cushion of a nearby couch. Law enforcement later determined that the Walther .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol was loaded with a magazine that contained five rounds of ammunition and had been reported stolen from the area of Sioux City, Iowa, in 2020. Another of the weapons, a rifle, was used in a 2021 New Year’s Eve homicide in Sioux City, Iowa.
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.
Gomez was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Gomez was sentenced to 57 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a 2-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Gomez is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case was investigated by the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office, the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department, and the Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 21-4036.
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