(STL.News) A convicted felon who unlawfully possessed a gun was sentenced October 12, 2021, to more than six years in federal prison.
Wonyae Black, age 24, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Information at sentencing showed that between March and June 2020, Black was connected to three incidents involving guns. First, in March 2020, Black, while armed with a handgun, kicked down the door of a residence, pointed a gun at the occupant, and stole property from the residence. Second, in June 2020, a gun was recovered at the scene of a shooting in Waterloo. Black’s fingerprint was found on a round of ammunition in the gun.
Third, on June 18, 2020, officers from the Waterloo Police Department attempted to stop the car Black was driving. Rather than stop, Black fled, reaching speeds more than 25 mph over the speed limit. Black eventually crashed into another occupied car, sending both cars careening into a tree. The tree fell over and landed on two unoccupied cars. No one was hurt. Black got out of his car and fled on foot. Officers caught up to him and saw that his hands were over the top of a fence. On the other side of the fence, officers found a bag containing a handgun and marijuana.
Black has multiple prior criminal convictions, including convictions for assault causing bodily injury, carrying weapons, theft, interference with official acts, and felon in possession of a firearm.
Black was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Black was sentenced to 78 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
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
Black is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by a Federal Task Force composed of the Waterloo Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms assisted by the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar Falls Police Department.