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Decorah heroin user sentenced to federal prison for possessing gun

CEDAR RAPIDS – A Decorah man who unlawfully possessed a gun while a drug user was sentenced to 46 months in prison.

Lester Wallace Erickson, III, age 30, from Decorah, Iowa, received the prison sentence after a December 21, 2020, guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Information disclosed at sentencing and in his plea agreement showed that in October 2019 police officers responded to a storage unit in Ridgeway, Iowa. They found Erickson passed out in a vehicle. He had recently used heroin and fentanyl and overdosed. Erickson was treated for the overdose. Officers searched the vehicle and found a gun in a nearby bag. Erickson had stolen the gun a few days prior from a friend. He intended to pawn the gun. In 2018, Erickson was convicted of a felony-controlled substance offense. Erickson has twelve adult criminal convictions, nine of which were committed while he was on court supervision. Erickson also has one conviction for a violent offense.

Erickson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Erickson was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment. He was ordered to make payment of $100 to the special assessment fund. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Alex Geocaris and Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Corkery and investigated by the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department, the Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive.

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