Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Iowa
Richard D. Westphal, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 5, 2024

Crip Gang Member Sentenced on Firearms Charge to 180 Months in Federal Prison

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Des Moines man was sentenced on April 3, 2024 to 180 months in federal prison, the maximum sentence allowed by law, after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to public court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, Dominic Gregory Lacava, 27, a convicted felon and Crip gang member, possessed at least four firearms over a six-month time period. Lacava possessed the firearms in connection with other felonies, including the physical abuse of three minor children, the physical abuse of his significant other, the sexual abuse of a child, and drug-related felonies. At the time of this federal offense, Lacava was on state of Iowa supervision for multiple crimes, including drug felonies and assault.

Lacava’s conduct was discovered during a larger federal investigation into firearms straw purchasing and trafficking, as well as gang activity. Two federal search warrants were executed at Lacava’s Des Moines, Iowa, residence, leading to the recovery of three firearms. Two of those firearms were acquired through Lacava’s use of a straw purchaser.

After completing his term of imprisonment, Lacava will be required to serve three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

“This sentencing today reflects ATF’s ongoing commitment to vigorously combat individuals that commit violent, gun-related crimes in our communities,” said ATF Kansas City Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bernard Hansen. “Today’s maximum sentence is justly served to a convicted felon in possession of a firearm who used them to commit acts of violence against women and children. ATF will work swiftly to remove dangerous individuals off our streets and with every arrest, and every successful prosecution, like this case, means that risks to public safety are being removed from our communities.”

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin M. Herrera prosecuted the case. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and the Des Moines Police Department.

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.

An official website of the U.S. Department of Justice

Looking for U.S. government information and services?