Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man sentenced to over 3 years in federal prison for illegally having guns

He bought 28 guns, including 'straw purchasing' for others

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man who illegally bought 28 guns between August 2015 and August 2018 was sentenced this week to more than three years in federal prison.

Nathan Fisher, 26, pleaded guilty in April to being an unlawful user of drugs in possession of a firearm.

During the plea hearing, Fisher admitted he bought a handgun on Aug. 3, 2018, when he was unlawful user of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Evidence at sentencing showed the gun was the 28th firearm Fisher had purchased since August 2015. Fisher was using meth and marijuana those years and lied on each gun form he filled out, stating he wasn’t a drug user.

During that period, Fisher bought at least six guns for other people, known as “straw purchasing,” and lied on forms by saying he was buying the guns for himself.

Of the 28 guns Fisher bought, nine have been recovered, with eight of them in the possession of someone else, sentencing evidence showed.

The remaining 19 guns have not been found.

U.S. District Court Judge C.J. Williams said during the hearing that Fisher was likely buying guns to give to others who could not legally purchase or own guns, such as felons.

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Fisher used drugs, possessed ammunition and failed to comply with numerous court orders while awaiting trial, he added.

Williams sentenced Fisher to 37 months in prison and ordered he also serve three years of supervised release after prison.

Fisher remains in jail pending transfer to a federal prison.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Morfitt and investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

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

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