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Press Release

Dubuque Felon Who Provided Gun to New Year’s Day Shooter Sentenced to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Previously Convicted of Multiple Violent Crimes

A man who handed a loaded handgun to another felon, who then shot a third person, was sentenced today to eight years in federal prison.

Katwan Montez Brown, age 27, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 25, 2020 guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Evidence at sentencing showed that Brown handed a loaded pistol to Derrick Timmons after Timmons had been in an argument in the street during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2020.  Video evidence showed that, shortly after Brown gave Timmons the pistol, Timmons shot multiple times from the doorway of a home, striking one individual.  After the shooting, Brown left the house and ran to an alleyway behind it, returning moments later.  Dubuque police officers later found a pistol in the alleyway, as well as a cell phone and identification belonging to Brown.  Brown’s fingerprints were found on the magazine inside the pistol, and shell casings outside the residence from where Timmons shot matched the pistol that had Brown’s fingerprints.  At sentencing, the judge found that Brown’s conduct in handing Timmons the loaded firearm before the shooting set in motion all of the events, and commented that “this is not the Wild West.”  Brown had previously been convicted of felony forgery and felony possession with intent to distribute marijuana in 2013 and felony possession of contraband in a correctional facility in 2018.  He was also convicted of domestic abuse assault with strangulation and domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury in 2015, and domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury, second offense, in 2017.

Brown was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Brown was sentenced to 96 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.

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.

This case was made possible in part by evidence from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit

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

The case was investigated by the Dubuque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-CR-01013-2-CJW-MAR.

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Updated February 19, 2021

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses