Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man sentenced to 24 years for distributing ice meth

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man, considered a “career criminal,” was sentenced Thursday to over 24 years in prison for distributing ice methamphetamine and having a gun as a felon.

Jerry Dean Love, 39, pleaded guilty last August in U.S. District Court to distribution of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a felon.

U.S. District Senior Judge Linda Reade said Love qualified as a career criminal in regards to sentencing and faced 24 to over 30 years in federal prison. The prosecution recommended sentencing him within the range and the defense asked for less time base on his mental health issues.

Reade, after hearing testimony from an expert witness and reviewing numerous medical and mental health reports, said she concluded he didn’t seem to have serious mental issues before using meth. Most of his paranoia and other symptoms seem to result from his drug use, she said.

Reade mentioned Love’s extensive criminal history of drugs, extortion and other convictions before saying she wouldn’t go below the guideline range and sentenced him to 292 months in prison. She also ordered him to serve eight years of supervised release.

Love declined to speak during sentencing.

A plea agreement shows Love sold an ounce of ice meth at his home Oct. 26, 2016 to an undercover police informant. Then, several months later on Feb. 6, 2017 Love drove to Guppy’s on the Go on Edgewood Road NW, got out of his truck and fired a .45 caliber pistol into the street. Love is a felon and prohibited from having guns, according to the plea.

About an hour later, he drove to Casey’s General Store on 33rd Avenue SW and police spotted his truck at the store and repeatedly ordered him to get out of the truck, according to court documents. Love stayed in his truck for over 10 minutes. Officers eventually broke Love’s truck windows and sent a dog into the truck to force Love out of the truck.

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During the arrest, officers found 19.2 grams of pure meth and $360 in cash on Love. The plea shows Love admitted he intended to distribute part of the meth. Officers, during a search of his truck, found the .45 caliber pistol, a loaded .45 caliber magazine and 11 additional caliber cartridges and a meth pipe.

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

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