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Press Release

Drug User Sentenced to Over Two Years in Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing a Gun

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

A South Sioux City, Nebraska, man who illegally possessed a firearm was sentenced November 18, 2021, to more than two years in federal prison.

Joseph Haack, 23, from South Sioux City, Nebraska, received the prison term after a July 12, 2021, guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a drug user.

Evidence presented by the United States at the detention, change of plea, and sentencing hearings revealed Haack was twice disarmed by Sioux City Police.  On November 2, 2020, during a traffic stop, Haack was discovered in possession of a stolen rifle with an obliterated serial number.  On November 2, 2020, he was discovered shoplifting while armed with a loaded handgun which was also stolen and had an obliterated serial number.  During this time Haack was an unlawful user of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Haack was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Haack was sentenced to 33 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.

The case was investigated by the United States Department of Justice – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

Court file information at

The case file number is 21-4006. 

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Updated November 19, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses