(STL.News) – An Oxford man who testified falsely at the federal firearms trial of a Cedar Rapids man in 2019 was sentenced May 8, 2020, to more than two years in federal prison.
Blayze Harding, age 27, from Oxford, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 14, 2020 guilty plea to one count of making a false statement before a federal court.
In a plea agreement, Harding admitted that on May 14, 2019, he testified as a witness in at trial in the case titled United States of America v. Carl McArthur, was placed under oath, and answered some of the questions posed to him falsely. Harding agreed his false testimony substantially interfered with the administration of justice.
Harding was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Harding was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment, which was ordered to be served consecutive to the sentences imposed in the Iowa District Court for Johnson County and Fayette County. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Harding is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley Corkery and Patrick Reinert and was investigated by Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force. The task force is composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from its Project Guardian partners.