Public Safety

20-year-old Cedar Rapids man sentenced to over 8 years for having firearms as a drug user

Kashad Hawthorne
Kashad Hawthorne

CEDAR RAPIDS — A 20-year-old drug user, who fired one of the 12 guns he illegally possessed at a car with two people inside, was sentenced this week to more than eight years in federal prison.

Kashad E. Hawthorne of Cedar Rapids pleaded guilty in February to one count of possession of a firearm by a drug user.

Information from his Tuesday sentencing and the plea agreement shows Cedar Rapids police officers recovered a gun on May 2, 2019, from a car in which Hawthorne had been a passenger.

Hawthorne got out of the car and left, but officers found him a short time later. He admitted to smoking marijuana, and officers found he was carrying a small bag of marijuana and a THC-filled cartridge.

Hawthorne told police later he carried a gun and that others were targeting him because he was trying to distance himself from “015,” a hybrid street gang, according to plea documents. There had a been a shooting at Hawthorne’s house three days earlier, and Hawthorne said he thought the “whole city wanted him dead.”

The plea shows Hawthorne admitted to smoking marijuana every day since he was about 15. He also admitted to being in photos with various handguns, which were posted on social media from September 2018 through Sept. 4, 2019.

According to the plea agreement, Hawthorne admitted to shooting at least six rounds at “B.M. and A.B.” on April 22, 2019. Testing confirmed the fired shots came from a Taurus PT-111, 9 mm pistol found in the car May 2.


Officers also found a loaded Llama Omni 9 mm pistol underneath another car seat, where Hawthorne was a passenger May 16, 2019. Hawthorne later told police he believed he was the intended target of a shooting that had occurred earlier that day. The plea also shows Hawthorne was in Burlington on June 27, 2019, when police responded to shots being fired. Hawthorne was shot in the head.

U.S. District Court Judge C.J. Williams sentenced to Hawthorne 100 months in prison. He was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following prison.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the centerpiece of the U.S. Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.

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