Public Safety

Hiawatha vape and tattoo shop owner sentenced to over 8 years for drugs and firearms

Judge orders him to pay $20,000 fine

Daniel Abbott
Daniel Abbott

CEDAR RAPIDS — An owner of two Hiawatha vaping and tattoo shops, who unintentionally alerted authorities to his firearm and drug crimes by reporting a handgun had been stolen, was sentenced Friday to more than eight years in federal prison.

Daniel James Abbott, 48, of Cedar Rapids, pleaded in September to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

During a preliminary and detention hearing in March, a federal agent testified authorities recovered methamphetamine, marijuana, ammunition, firearms and $50,000 cash from Abbott’s shops, River Rats Vapes and Insidious Ink, in 2019 after he was arrested for waving a gun around.

The drug investigation started Feb. 18, 2019, when Abbott reported to Cedar Rapids police that his handgun had been stolen.

Abbott told authorities he was at Insidious Ink shoveling snow when he noticed his firearm was missing from his ankle holster.

On July 30, Abbott reported to Hiawatha police that money and a handgun were stolen from his shop. Abbott then admitted to officers that he used methamphetamine at the business around the time the money and firearm were stolen.

Cedar Rapids police were called Sept. 23, 2019, for a report that a person, later identified as Abbott, was waving a gun around, according to hearing testimony. Officers found him walking with a backpack and empty holster on his hip. Abbott told the officers he used to carry a firearm but didn’t anymore and wore the holster out of habit.

In October, officers searched Abbott’s home and found meth, drug paraphernalia and about 4,732 rounds of various ammunition.

During the March hearing, an agent also testified that the amount of meth — 200 grams — found at Abbott’s businesses indicates trafficking. Officers also found 217 grams of marijuana, along with the paraphernalia, guns and cash.

The cash was found in a safe, along with meth, Xanax pills, marijuana and marijuana edibles, the agent said.

During a search, officers also found several checkbooks with “fake checks,” firearms hidden in the attic and materials for making false identification, the agent testified. A copy of Abbott’s driver’s license bore a different name.

Abbott told authorities after this search that he started using meth “more than a couple of months” ago.

During the investigation, authorities discovered Abbott had a civil no-contact order against him in September from his wife or ex-wife, which makes possessing firearms illegal.

Abbott attempted to buy a gun last year, but his application was denied because of the possession charges pending and the no-contact order, according to testimony.

U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams sentenced Abbott to 105 months in prison and fined him $20,000. He also was ordered to pay $4,736 in attorney fees and serve five years of supervised release following his prison time.

Abbott also has been charged with forgery in Linn County District Court.

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

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