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Press Release

Emmetsburg Woman Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing a Gun

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

A woman who illegally possessed a firearm pled guilty December 19, 2023, in federal court in Sioux City.

Andrea Crystal Lee, 35, from Emmetsburg, Iowa, was convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.  Lee had previously been convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance – 3rd or subsequent offense on April 30, 2021.  Lee was on state probation for that offense when she committed the federal firearms offense. 

At the plea hearing, evidence showed that on January 24, 2023, a state probation officer located drug-use paraphernalia at Lee’s home in Emmetsburg, Iowa, during a probation check.  Lee was given a urinalysis test which returned positive indicating recent methamphetamine use.  The same day, a search of Lee’s home was conducted pursuant to a search warrant.  Law enforcement found a 9mm handgun concealed in a floor vent, 9mm ammunition in two magazines, and a bag of needles.  As a drug user and felon, Lee was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.     

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Lee remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Lee faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

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 is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick T. Greenwood and was investigated by the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-3011. 

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Updated December 26, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses