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Press Release

California Man to Federal Prison for Violating Federal Firearms Law While in Iowa

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Aboolian, who had a history of felony convictions, found with drug paraphernalia and a stolen gun.

A man who was prohibited from possessing a gun was sentenced on August 25, 2020, to 7 years in federal prison.

Meher Aboolian, 32, from Glendale, California, pled guilty on March 17, 2020, to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  Aboolian was previously convicted of crimes which prohibited him from possessing guns. These crimes included Burglary, False Checks, and Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale.

At the plea and sentencing hearings, evidence showed that on November 3, 2019, the vehicle Aboolian was driving was stopped by law enforcement.  During a search of Aboolian, officers found drug paraphernalia and pills, which Aboolian admitted he did not have a prescription for, concealed under his hat.  A search of the vehicle revealed additional drug paraphernalia, and items to mask the smell of illegal drugs.  Officers also located a stolen gun, namely a Smith & Wesson Model 669, 9mm pistol, with no visible serial number, and a loaded magazine.

Sentencing was held before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Aboolian was sentenced to 84 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a term of 3 years of supervised release following imprisonment.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Aboolian is being held in the US Marshals custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

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.

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 Project Guardian partners. For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Patrick T. Greenwood and was investigated by Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sioux City, Iowa, Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; South Sioux City, Nebraska, Police Department; Nebraska State Patrol; Iowa National Guard; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; United States Marshals Service; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and Woodbury County Attorney’s Office.   

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-4003. 

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Updated August 26, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses