A former member of the military from eastern Iowa who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq was sentenced to five years of probation on a weapons charge. Thirty-one-year-old Matthew James Stover of Cedar Rapids pled guilty in November to one count of possessing a semiautomatic assault rifle and ammunition as an unlawful drug user.

Marion police found the weapon and ammunition after Stover purchased marijuana in a park in Marion and they obtained a search warrant. Information from the U.S. Attorney’s office says Stover will be required to undergo continued mental health treatment, to abstain from alcohol or drugs, undergo remote alcohol testing, and not being permitted in the unsupervised presence of a child under the age of 12, including his minor daughter. He could have faced 30 to 37 months in prison.

The judge noted Stover has been diagnosed as suffering from several mental health conditions, including PTSD. Judge Linda Reade said Stover has performed well under pre-trial treatment and supervision, and noted this was not a “run of the mill case.”

The judge indicated a reluctance to interfere with Stover’s mental health treatment he’s been getting from the VA for about the past year. She noted Stover got a job with the VA and has been fully compliant with the conditions of treatment for the past year. She did say any violation of the parole terms could lead to prison time.