Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man sentenced to 33 years in federal prison for guns, drugs

David Heard
David Heard

CEDAR RAPIDS — A man convicted of tossing a loaded pistol and a bag of marijuana into a wooded area after crashing his vehicle into another car last year was sentenced last week to over 33 years in federal prison.

In January a jury convicted David Tachay Heard, 40, of Cedar Rapids, of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

U.S. District Senior Judge Linda Reade sentenced Heard last Wednesday to 379 months in prison. He must also serve five years of supervised release following any prison time.

Evidence at trial showed Heard ran a red light and crashed into another car at the Interstate 380 and Glass Road interchange on July 30, 2017. Afterward, Heard drove his car to a secluded spot on Redbud Road and tossed a bag of marijuana and the semi-automatic firearm into nearby brush.

A witness testified that he saw Heard toss the items out of the vehicle and called 911 to report the incident. After Heard was arrested, the witness received calls from a girlfriend of an associate of Heard, telling the man that Heard had his name and address.

According to testimony, a Cedar Rapids police officer said the witness considered those calls a threat, so he took his family to a hotel and to stay with relatives.

The officer also said Heard told police he didn’t throw anything and didn’t know anything about a gun or marijuana.

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According to testimony, Heard’s cousin purchased the firearm in 2013 from a now-defunct federal firearms licensee in the Cedar Rapids area. He said he didn’t give Heard permission to use the firearm because he knew Heard was a felon.

During the first part of the sentencing hearing in August, Heard repeatedly denied the crime and accused the prosecution of misconduct and the police of fabricating evidence.

Heard received more prison time because of prior convictions. Heard was convicted in U.S. District Court in 2000 on two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

During his prison term in 2005, Heard was also convicted of possessing a weapon in prison.

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

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