Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man pleads not guilty to 42 gun and drug charges

Charges include illegal possession of machine guns, silencers, pipe bomb

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man previously charged with distributing drugs and illegally possessing firearms now faces 42 federal charges, including possession of machine guns, silencers and a pipe bomb.

Raven Damien Burkhow, 24, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to the new superseding indictment of 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, transfer of a machine gun and possession of a machine gun; two counts each of use and possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of drug trafficking; 14 counts of possession of the National Firearms Act firearms — silencers, modified shotgun and pipe bomb — not registered to possessor; and 12 counts of possession of National Firearms Act firearms — silencers — not identified by serial number.

The latest indictment includes prosecutors asking for forfeitures of all the firearms, $4,750 seized from Burkhow and from his residence April 29, and six gold bars — valued at over $5,500 — and about $172,970 seized from his safe May 2.

Burkhow initially was 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.

Court documents show a confidential source told authorities in March 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.

The warrant states Burkhow admitted to authorities 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.

Burkhow remains in jail pending trial set for Oct. 21. His lawyer has asked for the trial to be reset in light of the new charges.

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