Public Safety

Waterloo man sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for gun charge

Prosecutors say brother has ties to ISIS

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Waterloo man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to over three years in prison for unlawfully having a gun and ammunition as a convicted felon.

Wayne J. Jones, II, 38, pleaded guilty last October in U.S. District Court to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon and unlawful drug user.

Evidence during sentencing showed that Jones had multiple firearms in his Waterloo apartment and fired those guns at an outdoor shooting range. Last year, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at Jones’s apartment in April. At that same time, Jones’s brother, Joseph Jones, was charged in the Northern District of Illinois with providing material support to ISIS. Those charges are pending.

Jones admitted he was a daily user of marijuana when the search was conducted last year, according to evidence at the sentencing hearing. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized a loaded handgun, ammunition, and other items from his apartment. A forensic examination of Jones’s phone revealed text messages and photos relating to drug activity and photos of firearms, as well as an image of an ISIS flag Jones claimed his brother sent him, according to court documents.  

Other investigation showed Jones had his adult son purchase a firearm for him at a Waterloo sporting goods store in November 2016, according to evidence at sentencing. Jones was arrested at the time of the search on an outstanding arrest warrant in Wisconsin issued after Jones violated terms of probation imposed on prior battery and disorderly conduct convictions. 

While Jones was in a Wisconsin jail, he spoke to family members in calls recorded by the jail. In one call, Jones claimed he and his brother were of “like mind” but have different approaches, stating: “I’m a little wiser, like okay, I’ll kill ‘ya, like you and your whole f#**#** household, but I’m not gonna be all you know unwise about it.  I’m going to take the appropriate approach and make sure my ass is covered.”

U.S. District Senior Judge Linda Reade sentenced Jones to 43 months in prison and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release following the prison time.

Reade, during sentencing, noted Jones had several prior criminal convictions that had not been taken into account by the sentencing guidelines, including convictions for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, resisting a peace officer, assault, forgery, and interference with official acts.

His criminal record also showed a disrespect for the law and his history of violence was particularly troubling given his fascination with guns, Reade pointed out. She said Jones was an “extremely high risk to recidivate.” 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Murphy and investigated by the FBI.  

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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