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Press Release

Denison Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Gun and Silencer Possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Possessed six firearms, including a short-barreled rifle and five silencers

Ian Ward, 37, from Denison, Iowa, pled guilty on July 2, 2024, to one count of prohibited person in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of a short-barreled rifle, and one count of possession of silencers.

At the plea hearing, evidence showed that on August 21, 2023, a traffic stop in Pocahontas County found Ward, high on fentanyl (he admitted as much to the deputy who stopped him), with six traditional firearms, including an illegal, short-barreled rifle, plus several full silencer/suppresser type devices.  Law enforcement also located and seized from Ward’s vehicle methamphetamine, THC wax, and drug user paraphernalia.  Ward admitted to being a user of fentanyl, meth, and marijuana and to a previous conviction for a felony drug offense in Minnesota.  Being a felon as well as illegal user of drugs prohibited Ward from possessing any firearm.

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.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Ward remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  On the prohibited possession of firearm conviction, Ward faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.  On the two convictions of possession of illegal firearm/silencers, Ward faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release following imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-3024.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated July 2, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses