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Press Release

Dubuque Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Being a Drug User in Possession of a Firearm

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

A drug user who possessed a firearm was sentenced today to five years in federal prison.

Tobias Sarazin, age 34, of Dubuque, Iowa, received the sentence after a June 23, 2020 guilty plea to one count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.  At the plea hearing, Sarazin admitted that, in December 2019, he possessed a pistol while being a user of marijuana and methamphetamine.  Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing established that Sarazin possessed a loaded pistol in a Dubuque bar, that he had been convicted of three crimes of domestic violence, and that he was subject to a no contact order.

Sarazin was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Sarazin was sentenced to 60 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 prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Dubuque Police Department, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Court file information is available at

The case file number is CR 20-1005.

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Updated February 16, 2021

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Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses