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Press Release

Armed Drug Dealer Gets 30 Months in Federal Prison for Firearms Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Andrade possessed a 12 gauge shotgun in connection with his drug trafficking.

A man from Sioux City, Iowa was sentenced April 1, 2020 to more than two years in federal prison.

Hector Andrade, age 21, from Sioux City, Iowa received the prison term after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a drug user.

Evidence at his change of plea and sentencing hearings revealed Andrade was not only an unlawful user of marijuana but a distributor of marijuana too.  During a search of Andrade’s residence a 12 gauge shotgun and ammunition, which Andrade possessed in connection with his drug trafficking, were found in his room along with glass pipes, packaging materials, a scale, U.S. currency, large amounts of marijuana, and a suitcase containing various THC products.  A month later, Andrade was again discovered dealing marijuana.   

Andrade was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Andrade was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a two-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Andrade is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from our Project Guardian partners.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

The case was investigated by the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild. Court file information at

The case file number is 19-4037.

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Updated April 1, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses