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Press Release

Dubuque Man Sentenced to Twelve Years in Prison for Attempting to Tamper with Witnesses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Also Admitted Knocking Out a Woman by Striking her with a Gun

A man who attempted to tamper with witnesses after he was facing charges related to an incident with a firearm was sentenced on July 2, 2021, to twelve years in federal prison.

Stephan Wayne Toliver, age 35, from Davenport, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 13, 2021 guilty plea to attempted witness tampering.

In a plea agreement, Toliver admitted that he struck a woman with a gun, knocking her unconscious.  Toliver also admitted to making false accusations against family members of the victim resulting in an investigation by DHS and the Dubuque Police Department that ultimately showed no wrongdoing by them.  Toliver also admitted that he sent a letter to the victim falsely telling her that if she or her family testified against him, DHS would use that information against her family. 

Toliver was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Toliver was sentenced to 144 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.

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

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Nydle and investigated by the Dubuque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-cr-1033.

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Updated July 6, 2021

Violent Crime