CEDAR RAPIDS — A man who tossed a loaded pistol and a bag of marijuana into a wooded area after crashing his vehicle into another car near the I-380 and Glass Road interchange in July 2017 was convicted Wednesday by a federal jury.
David Tachay Heard, 39, of Cedar Rapids, was convicted in U.S. District Court 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. The jury returned the verdict after deliberating two hours Wednesday, following a three-day trial.
Evidence at trial shows Heard ran a red light and crashed into another car at the I-380 and Glass Road Interchange July 30. Afterward, Heard drove his car to a more secluded spot on Redbud Road and tossed the bag of marijuana and the semi-automatic firearm into the nearby brush.
A witness testified that he saw Heard toss the items into the brush, according to testimony. He called 911 to report the incident. After Heard was arrested, the passer-by received calls from a girlfriend of an associate of Heard, telling the man that Heard had his name and address.
During a previous detention hearing for Heard, a Cedar Rapids police officer testified the passer-by considered those calls from the girlfriend a threat, so he took his family to a hotel and then 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.
According to trial testimony, Heard’s cousin purchased the firearm in 2013 from a now-defunct federal firearms licensee in the Cedar Rapids area. The cousin testified that he didn’t give Heard permission to use the firearm because he knew Heard was a felon.
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Heard faces up to 10 years on three of the charges and a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The maximum sentence is life in prison, a $1,250,000 fine and nine years of supervised release following any prison time.
Prosecutors said his potential time punishment is increased because he is a recidivist offender. 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 of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Heard remains in custody pending sentencing, which hasn’t been set at this time.
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