A man who possessed methamphetamine with intent to distribute it and who possessed a firearm as an unlawful drug user, pled guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids, according to a press release by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa.
Joshua Ryan Gorrell, age 37, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it within 1,000 feet of a protected location, and one count of possession of a firearm as an unlawful drug user.
In a plea agreement, Gorrell admitted that, on July 22, 2022, he made a 911 call regarding an overdose that occurred at his home in Cedar Rapids.
When first responders arrived, they found a deceased overdose victim. Officers searched Gorrell’s home and found $123,038 in U.S. Currency and over two pounds of actual (pure) methamphetamine, 43 grams of fentanyl, 56 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, 68 grams of marijuana, and 238 grams of THC wax. Officers found some of the drugs and cash in ductwork inside of Gorrell’s home.
Gorrell also admitted in a plea agreement that on August 22, 2022, law enforcement officers searched his home again and found a firearm, $15,253 in U.S. Currency, approximately 28 grams of methamphetamine, and approximately 252 grams of marijuana. Later that day, Gorrell’s urine tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl.
Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Gorrell remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.
For possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute it within 1,000 feet of a protected location, Gorrell faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and the following maximum penalties: not more than life imprisonment without the possibility of parole; a fine of not more than $20,000,000; a mandatory special assessment of $100; and a term of supervised release of at least 10 years and up to life.
For possessing a firearm as a drug user, Gorrell faces the following maximum penalties: not more than 15 years’ imprisonment without the possibility of parole; a fine of not more than $250,000; a mandatory special assessment of $100; and a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years.
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Devra Hake and Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham. It was investigated as part of the Northern Iowa Heroin Initiative and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Cedar Rapids Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Marion Police Department, and Linn County Sheriff’s Office.
This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.