Davenport police on Friday arrested a Rock Island felon for selling methamphetamine while possessing a firearm.
Devon Allen McConnell, 34, of 1921 ½ 10th St., who is on parole from the Iowa Department of Corrections, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute less than 5 grams of methamphetamine. The charge is a Class C felony under Iowa law that carries a prison sentence of 10 years.
McConnell also is charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Class D felony that carries a prison sentence of five years.
According to the arrest affidavits filed by Davenport Police Officer Jordan Sander, at 10:19 a.m. Friday, members of the Davenport Police Department’s Tactical Operations Bureau were sent to the Sara Mini Mart at 1026 W. River Drive regarding McConnell, who had been stopped after detectives saw him driving a Chevrolet Impala. McConnell’s license is suspended.
During a search, officers seized from the vehicle 2.1 grams of methamphetamine and a Taurus 9mm handgun. McConnell admitted to police during questioning that the meth belonged to him and he was on his way to deliver it to someone at a local pizza restaurant. McConnell admitted that the gun was for protection.
McConnell is on parole from the Iowa Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to a charge of first-degree theft of a construction trailer and equipment from Eldridge, Iowa, in January 2018.
According to the arrest affidavit, McConnell attempted to sell the trailer and equipment via Facebook Messenger. Police found that trailer and equipment, worth an estimated $16,000, where McConnell was living at the time, 1448 W. 14th St., Davenport.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in that case on July 10, 2018. He was placed on parole June 24, 2019. His parole was to run through Jan. 30, 2023. However, McConnell has filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging he was coerced into pleading guilty; his attorney was ineffective; and someone left the trailer and equipment at his home without his consent or knowledge. A hearing on the appeal is scheduled for May 19 in Scott County District Court.
McConnell was being held without bond Saturday night in the Scott County Jail as Iowa Department of Corrections authorities have filed to revoke his parole. He also is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond on the drug and weapon charges.
Federal authorities have said they will take over many of Davenport’s gun cases, especially when illicit drugs are involved.
Under federal law, McConnell is prohibited from possessing firearms since he already has felony convictions. Users of illicit drugs also fall under this federal category. A person convicted under these federal statutes faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Also, McConnell, according to the affidavit was using the weapon as protection while selling methamphetamine. Federal authorities could charge him with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. This charge carries a minimum prison sentence of five years and must run consecutive to any other prison sentence he would receive for other drug and weapons convictions.
There is no parole in the federal system.
McConnell’s criminal history dates back to 2004 when he and two other men faced first-degree murder charges in connection with the beating death of an Omaha, Neb., man at a party hosted by McConnell when he lived in Council Bluffs.
McConnell was 18 at the time, and the other two people were juveniles charged as adults. Michael Anderson was 17 and Jonathan Adams was 16 at the time.
In October 2004, McConnell pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit a felony and was sentenced to five years in prison. In December 2004, Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of willful injury with bodily injury and was sentenced to five years in prison on each count. Also that month, Adams pleaded guilty to willful injury causing serious injury and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In 2008 in Rock Island County Circuit Court, McConnell pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle and was sentenced to 3 ½ years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Then in 2013, McConnell pleaded guilty in Circuit Court to a charge of robbery and was sentenced to 4 years in the Illinois prison system. In return for his plea in that case, charges of home invasion with a firearm and home invasion with a dangerous weapon were dismissed.
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