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Press Release

Dubuque Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing a Firearm Following New Year’s Day Shooting

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Has three prior felony and three domestic abuse convictions

A man who was involved in a shooting in Dubuque, Iowa, during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day pled guilty on August 25, 2020, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Katwan Montez Brown, age 27, from Dubuque, Iowa, was convicted of being a felon and domestic abuser in possession of a firearm.

Evidence at a prior hearing showed that Brown handed a pistol to another person after that person 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 this person the pistol, that person 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.  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. 

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Brown remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Brown faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

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

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.

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-CR‑1013‑CJW‑MAR.

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Updated August 26, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses