Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man illegally had 17 guns, including four machine guns

Raven Damien Burkhow also faces drug charges

Raven Damien Burkhow
Raven Damien Burkhow

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man previously charged with distributing drugs has now been indicted on additional charges, including illegally possessing numerous pistols and four machine guns.

Raven Damien Burkhow, 24, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court last week to one count each of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of firearms by an unlawful drug user, possession of machine guns, possession of a National Firearms Act — firearms not registered to possessor and possession of National Firearms Act — firearms not identified by serial number; five counts of distribution of a controlled substance; and two counts of transfer of firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act.

Burkhow was initially arrested after authorities set up controlled buys with a confidential source who purchased cocaine, firearms and gun silencers from Burkhow over the course of a few weeks, according to a complaint.

During a search of Burkhow’s apartment, law enforcement seized 14 firearms, 11 silencers, 178 grams of cocaine, thousands of rounds of ammunition, a currency counting machine, drug paraphernalia, a large safe and numerous other items, according to a search warrant affidavit.

According to the indictment, Burkhow on April 29, as an unlawful user of marijuana, had 17 guns — handguns and long guns — four machine guns and 14 silencers not registered to him. The machine guns and silencers also could not be identified by serial numbers, the indictment shows.

In March, a confidential source told authorities that Burkhow sold “ghost guns,” which are guns manufactured privately that don’t have manufacturer serial numbers used for identification and registering. The source also said Burkhow sold silencers and rifles that are converted to fully automatic weapons.

Burkhow, during initial search, admitted to authorities that he was a drug user and that there were guns and gold bars in the safe, but he wouldn’t provide law enforcement with a combination to the safe, the warrant shows.


On April 29, $840 was seized from Burkhow and another $3,910 was recovered from his home, according to the indictment. On May 2, six gold bars valued at $5,522 and $172,970 in cash was recovered from his safe.

Prosecutors also included a forfeiture allegation, asking that all the money proceeds from illegal drug activity be forfeited.

Burkhow remains in jail pending trial set Oct. 21 in U.S. District Court.

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