Hawkeye felon pleads guilty to possession of firearm

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office news release

A man who possessed a firearm after the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office searched his Hawkeye, Iowa, home on August 10, 2022, pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Cedar Rapids.



            Rusty Joe Barker, age 38, from Hawkeye, Iowa, was convicted of one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition after he was convicted of a felony offense.


            In an earlier detention hearing, the evidence showed that Fayette County Deputies learned that Barker had access to a firearm and ammunition when they went to the Barker home in response to a child abuse/runaway child investigation. At the plea hearing, Barker admitted he possessed a handgun and ammunition on August 10, 2022, when the deputies searched his home.  Barker also admitted he was previously convicted of kidnapping and willful injury in the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County on September 25, 2007. 


            Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Barker remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Barker faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.


The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and was investigated by Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Fayette County Attorney’s Office, Iowa State Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive. This case is 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.