Public Safety

Cedar Rapids teen charged in federal court with having firearms in school zone

Two guns found in backpack, one was loaded, complaint shows

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man was charged Thursday in federal court for having two handguns on the Kirkwood Community College campus and also near a middle school last month, after shots were fired in the same area, which a criminal complaint indicates he was involved.

Sinquez J. Ray, was charged in U.S. District Court with one count of possession of a firearm in a school zone. He is accused of possessing two handguns, a .40 caliber and a loaded 9 mm, in his backpack.

A criminal complaint affidavit shows a College Community School resource officer was conducting patrol Feb. 6 in the area of the The Hotel at Kirkwood Center and she was aware that a shooting had occurred in the parking lot of the hotel the day before. The officer had been told by a student that Ray’s brother had been the target of the shooting and Ray had a gun and was planning to retaliate against the shooter, according to the complaint.

The officer saw a red Mazda, known to be driven by Ray’s brother, pull into the parking lot next to The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Another vehicle, a silver Mercury, then pulled in and parked next the Mazda. Ray got out of the Mercury with a backpack and both vehicles drove away, according to the complaint.

Ray walked west along 76th Avenue to Kirkwood Boulevard, which is within 1,000 feet of Prairie Point Middle School, the officer noted in the complaint. The resource officer knew Ray was a former Prairie Middle School student. She made contact with Ray outside the entrance of Kirkwood Community College and smelled fresh marijuana coming from him, which he admitted to recently smoking.

The officer saw a plastic bag, in plain view on a mesh pocket of the backpack that contained a magazine for a handgun, according to the complaint. She searched the backpack and found the two firearms, multiple plastic bags with 139.4 grams of marijuana, three digital scales and a box of sandwich bags.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Roberts ruled Ray would stay in jail pending a detention hearing set for next Thursday.

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