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Shotgun blast through ceiling of apartment sends Iowa man to prison

jailCEDAR RAPIDS – A man who discharged a shotgun into an apartment above his own pled guilty in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Clifford Smith, age 51, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of one count of being a felon and unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm.

In a plea agreement, Smith admitted that he was a felon, having been convicted in 1992 and 2003 of drug offenses in the Iowa District Court for Linn County. Smith also admitted he was an unlawful user of marijuana. On July 4, 2013, Smith was living in a down stairs apartment on Wilson Avenue in Cedar Rapids. At some point in the early morning hours that day, Smith discharged a shotgun in his apartment. The blast penetrated the floor of the apartment above Smith’s own apartment. The owner of that apartment contacted the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Smith remains in custody of the United States Marshal and will remain in custody pending sentencing. Smith faces a possible maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and was investigated by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

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