First Responders

Meth-Fueled Iowa Man Who Attacked Cop Going to Prison on Gun Charge

May 17, 2022Carl Prine
Iowa’s Waterloo Police Department recorded 46,136 calls for service in 2021, part of a rising trend for the past several years.  Waterloo Police Department photo.

Iowa’s Waterloo Police Department recorded 46,136 calls for service in 2021, part of a rising trend for the past several years. Waterloo Police Department photo.

An Iowa man hopped up on meth who attacked a Waterloo cop is going to spend the next seven years in a federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm.

On Monday, May 16, in Cedar Rapids, US District Judge C.J. Williams sentenced 36-year-old career criminal Joshua Ray Hunley to 87 months behind bars and three years of supervised release when he exits the penitentiary.

His criminal defense attorneys did not return messages seeking comment.

Hunley, of Waterloo, has a long rap sheet and a revolving door acquaintance with Iowa’s prison system. His 18 adult criminal convictions date to 2005 and include four theft collars, two domestic abuse assaults, carrying a long knife, and burglary.

Iowa man
Joshua Ray Hunley, 36, from Waterloo, Iowa, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon in 2021. Coffee or Die Magazine composite.

When he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm on Sept. 27, 2021, there was an active warrant for his arrest in Indiana because he failed to appear in court following his conviction for receiving stolen property.

Hunley’s latest trouble with the law began on Sept. 22, 2020, in Waterloo. For $300, Hunley sold a confidential informant a Savage Arms Model 110E-D rifle chambered in .30-06, a Savage Arms Model 620A 12-gauge shotgun, and a Savage Arms Model 87A .22-caliber rifle.

The informant was a methamphetamines abuser and a felon.

Shortly before midnight on Jan. 31, 2021, Waterloo Police officers spotted Hunley wearing a mask and standing outside a residence. Another man armed with a pipe — identified only as “CG” in court documents — was standing outside the building at a different entrance.

Both were high on meth.

Iowa man
In 2021, Waterloo Police recorded 20 attacks on officers or attempts to interfere with personnel trying to do their duty. Waterloo Police Department photo.

When an officer asked Hunley his name, he said “Jay.” As they talked, the officer noticed a revolver on the ground near Hunley’s feet and moved to detain him.

They wrestled, with Hunley throwing multiple punches at the cop’s face and head.

By the time the officer pinned Hunley, the cop had suffered a swollen forehead, a cut across his left cheek, and a shiner around his right eye.

Officers found $422 in cash on Hunley, plus 7 grams of meth, some marijuana, and four rounds of .38 Special ammo.

Hunley’s plea agreement got the debate over criminal culpability out of the way, leaving his legal team and prosecutors to joust over how long he’d spend behind bars.

Waterloo is the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa. With a population of 67,314, it’s Iowa’s eighth-largest city. Waterloo Police Department photo.

Federal sentencing guidelines advised 51 to 63 months in a penitentiary. Hunley wanted a lot less time behind bars. Prosecutors wanted more.

In his pitch to the judge, attorney Zach D. Crowdes urged mercy because Hunley had a rough childhood that found him raised by a string of relatives across the country, and he was introduced to narcotics at a very young age.

By the time he turned 25, Hunley was using methamphetamines, marijuana, and booze daily. He failed multiple treatment programs.

“A lengthy sentence of imprisonment is not necessary,” wrote Crowdes in a sentencing memorandum. “Hunley is a 36-year-old offender who has a mostly non-violent criminal history, with the majority for theft or drug related offenses. There is every reason to believe that this conviction will be more than sufficient ‘deterrence’ for Hunley and that he will never again violate the law.”

Waterloo Police
In 2021, Waterloo authorities recorded 5,714 violent and property crimes in the Iowa city, a nearly 1.3% rise from 2020. But violent crime fell by 5%. Waterloo Police Department photo.

That’s not how Assistant US Attorney Kyndra Lundquist saw it. Beyond Hunley’s long rap sheet, she said, was his apparent violation of every term of probation he ever received. Six of his convictions were tied to offenses he committed while on probation, she wrote in her memorandum, and four of them sent him to prison.

Within two months of his parole, he’d been caught for theft and carrying weapons, and he was sent back to prison.

Paroled again to enter a work release program, he ended up back in prison within two months because he absconded from his halfway house and committed new crimes.

And he was on parole when he slugged the Waterloo cop. She urged a stiffer sentence.

The judge agreed with her.

Read Next: Feds: Florida Men Dressed Like Cops To Rob Drug Dealers 

Carl Prine
Carl Prine

Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
How the Bazooka Gained Infamy as a Tank-Buster

Named after a musical instrument, the Bazooka proved to be a highly effective weapon for American troops, including one maverick pilot, throughout multiple wars.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall (center) delivers testimony during a House Appropriations Committee hearing in the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
Home to Glenn, Armstrong, Wrights Perfect Spot for Space Command HQ, Ohio Lawmakers Say

Ohio lawmakers pitch their state as the new location for Space Command headquarters.

Soflete: How This Veteran-Led Company is Changing Military Fitness Culture

In 2014, Soflete’s co-founders saw workout overkill hurting their peers as they prepared for selecti...

glock 19
Glock 19: Origin Story of a Legendary Pistol

Get to know the Glock 19 — how it works, who uses it, and why it’s one of the most popular handguns in the US.

afghan soldier asylum
Afghan Soldier Who Helped US Weathers Injuries, Uncertainty in Asylum Bid

Afghan soldier who assisted the U.S. now faces uncertainty in bid for asylum.

The Dirty Dozen
‘The Dirty Dozen’: Meet D-Day’s Real Rogue Commandos

The Dirty Dozen was based on a real team of rule-breaking elite paratroopers who jumped into France ahead of D-Day.

d-day 79th anniversary
Normandy Marks D-Day's 79th Anniversary, Honors World War II Veterans

This year's D-Day tribute to the young soldiers who died in Normandy is not only a chance to honor t...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved