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Press Release

Ely Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Being a Felon and Unlawful Drug User in Possession of a Firearm

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

A man who unlawfully possessed a shotgun was sentenced today in federal court in Cedar Rapids.  Matthew Robbins, age 42, from Ely, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 22, 2016, guilty plea to one count of being a felon and unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. 

In a plea agreement, Robbins admitted that in 2014 he was an unlawful user of controlled substances, including methamphetamine, and had previously been convicted of eight felony offenses, namely:

  1. Conspiracy to Commit Robbery in the Second Degree (Sept. 6, 1991);

  2. Burglary in the Third Degree (Feb. 10, 1995);

  3. Dominion and Control of a Firearm as a Felon (Feb. 10, 1995);

  4. Operating While Intoxicated, Third Offense (Mar. 1, 1995);

  5. Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance (Dec. 4, 1998);

  6. Operating While Intoxicated, Third Offense (Aug. 29, 2007);

  7. Attempt to Elude (Aug. 29, 2007); and

  8. Operating While Intoxicated, Third Offense (April 4, 2013).

Robbins admitted that, in about the Spring of 2014, he took possession of an Iver Johnson, 12 gauge shotgun.  The shotgun had been left at his residence near Ely, Iowa, by another person.  Robbins later had a friend store the shotgun at the friend’s residence for safekeeping. 

Robbins was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Robbins was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Robbins 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 C.J. Williams and Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin Eldridge.  The case was investigated by the Marion Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Court file information is available at  The case file number is 14-CR-129-LRR.

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Updated January 26, 2016

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