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Press Release

Dubuque Man Sentenced to More than a Decade in Prison for His Role in Shooting Outside Dubuque Bar

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Was a Felon at the Time

A Dubuque man who fired a gun near a group of people following a fight was sentenced on April 16, 2024, to more than 12 years in prison. 

Marvin Brantley, age 31, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 13, 2023, guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon.

Information disclosed during the plea and sentencing hearings revealed that on April 8, 2023, Brantley was involved in a fight outside a bar in Dubuque, Iowa.  Brantley and a group of people were observed on surveillance video fighting with another group of people.  At one point, a victim fell on the ground and Brantley stomped on him twice.  The groups separated and as Brantley and his group were walking through the parking lot of a bar, Brantley pulled a gun out and fired at the group.  Several people were standing outside the bar at the time.  No one was hurt.  Following the shooting, officers searched Brantley’s house.  They found marijuana but no firearm.  Brantley was arrested on related state charges.  While in custody, Brantley called his sister and, talking in code, directed her to his house where he told her the firearm was hidden.  Over the course of multiple calls, Brantley’s sister located the firearm.  Brantley directed her to wash the gun and throw it away.  Based on the phone calls, officers searched the sister’s residence.  While they did find a gun, it was not the gun used in the shooting.  The sister admitted that she took the gun to Chicago and left it with a family member.  The sister was able to get the gun back and turned it into law enforcement. 

Brantley was a felon at the time of the shooting.  He has seven prior adult criminal convictions, four of which involve violence or assaultive conduct.

Brantley was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by Chief United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Brantley was sentenced to 145 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Corkery and investigated by the Dubuque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-CR-1021.

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Updated April 17, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses