Skip to main content
Press Release

Dubuque Felon and Drug User Sentenced to over Five Years in Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing a Loaded Gun

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

A Dubuque man who illegally possessed a firearm while conducting narcotics sales out of an apartment in Dubuque was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison.

Michael Angelo Burdunice Jr., age 24, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 21, 2019 guilty plea to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.  A search warrant executed at defendant’s residence, which he shared with his girlfriend and two young children, reflected a loaded 9 mm Glock handgun with an extended magazine and obliterated serial number.  Additional items recovered included narcotics, digital scales, baggies, packaging materials and a large amount of U.S. currency.  

Burdunice Jr. was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court C.J. Williams.  Burdunce Jr. was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Burdunice Jr. is being held in the United States Marshal’s 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.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Dupuich and investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-CR-1025-CJW.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated January 21, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods