Waterloo Police VCAT Unit Seizes 200th Firearm

On Wednesday August 19, 2015 around 1:30am Officers with the Waterloo Police Department’s Violent Crime Apprehension Team (VCAT) conducted a traffic stop with a vehicle for an equipment violation in the area of W. 4th St/Wellington St.  At that time, Officers observed the driver making suspicious movements as he reached down toward the floor board area.  The driver was eventually identified as thirty-one year old Edward Wadley Jr. of Denver Iowa. 

Officers ordered Wadley out of the car and detained him.  Officers observed a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.  During the investigation Wadley admitted he had a handgun in the vehicle.  Officers located a loaded semi­auto handgun under the driver seat where Wadley was observed reaching.  The handgun was later determined to be reported stolen out of Pennsylvania. 

Wadley was charged with possession of a firearm as a felon, carrying weapons, possession of marijuana 2nd offense and possession of stolen property.  Wadley was booked into the Black Hawk County Jail.

Wadley’s stolen handgun marked the two-hundredth firearm that the VCAT Unit has taken off the streets since the unit began in 2010.  The unit originated from a four-year Federal grant and began being staffed in April of that year.  The unit became fully operational in August of 2010 while being comprised of five officers and a supervisor. 

During the past five years the VCAT unit has focused its efforts on combating violence, weapons violations, shootings and ongoing gang conflicts in the community.  VCAT Officers play a large role in the metro Gang Task Force and they work very closely with other Officers within the department and with other agencies in the Cedar Valley.  Most importantly, the unit relies heavily on the cooperation of concerned citizens and informants throughout the community who provide critical intelligence information used to take a proactive approach to ongoing violence. 

VCAT has used much of this intelligence to target those involved in shootings and those engaging in violent conflicts. As a result, the unit has successfully referred over thirty firearms cases to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to be prosecuted at the Federal level.   In the end, VCAT Officers hope to encourage more citizens to come forward and join others who have provided pertinent information needed to stop violence and create a safer community. 

Sgt. Matt McGeough

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