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Press Release

Armed Felon Who Fled Police at High Speed Sentenced to More Than 4 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man who fled a traffic stop after arming himself with a firearm as the officer approached was sentenced January 17, 2024, to more than 4 years in federal prison.

Michael McCullum, age 33, from Chicago, Illinois, received the prison term after a guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon.

Evidence in the case revealed McCullum was stopped for speeding in the predawn hours of April 30, 2023.  As the Officer approached the vehicle, he observed McCullum grasping a handgun with his right hand, looking over his left shoulder for the approaching officer, as if preparing to engage the officer.  The officer took control of the situation, drew his sidearm, and ordered McCullum and his passenger to keep their hands up.  McCullum initially complied, but then dropped his hands and fled the traffic stop in his car at a high rate of speed.  McCullum’s vehicle was later discovered thanks to a report of a reckless driver.  Officers found McCullum and his car, freed the passenger, who had been trapped when McCullum sped away from the traffic stop, and later found the firearm McCullum had hidden nearby.     

McCullum has a history of interactions with law enforcement that started as early as 15 years old.  He has a felony conviction for armed robbery/armed with dangerous weapon.   

McCullum was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 51 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Judge Strand commented the situation the defendant created was “chilling” and but for the well-trained officers disciplined actions and approach the situation could have been tragic. 

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.

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

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

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-4030.

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Updated January 25, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses