Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man charged with distributing cocaine and firearms

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man was charged Wednesday with distributing cocaine and illegally having a firearm as a drug user.

Raven Damien Burkhow, 24, was arrested last week after authorities set up controlled buys with a confidential source who purchased cocaine, firearms and gun silencers from Burkhow over the course of a few weeks, according to a complaint. Burkhow is charged in U.S. District Court with one count each of distributing cocaine and possession of a firearm by a drug user.

During a search of Burkhow’s apartment, law enforcement seized 14 firearms, 11 silencers, 178 grams of cocaine, thousands of rounds of ammunition, a currency counting machine, drug paraphernalia, a large safe and numerous other items, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Burkhow admitted to authorities that he was a drug user and that there were guns and gold bars in the safe, but he wouldn’t provide law enforcement with a combination to the safe, the warrant shows.

In March, a confidential source told authorities that Burkhow sold “ghost guns,” which are guns manufactured privately that don’t have manufacturer serial numbers used for identification and registering. The source also said Burkhow sold silencers and rifles that are converted to fully automatic weapons.

Authorities had the source buy cocaine, rifles and silencers from Burkhow several times last month. A GPS tracking device was also installed on Burkhow’s vehicle during the investigation before he was arrested.

U.S. Magistrate Mark Roberts ruled Wednesday to keep Burkhow in jail pending a preliminary and detention hearing set for May 6.

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

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.