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Press Release

Felon Who Possessed Ghost Gun Sentenced to Prison

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

A man who possessed a ghost gun, a rifle, and high-capacity magazines was sentenced on March 28, 2024, to more than one year in federal prison.

John Wayne Brooks, age 62, from Marion, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 21, 2023 guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.           

Information from a plea agreement and sentencing showed that Marion police officers executed a search warrant at Brooks’s residence on January 25, 2022.  Officers found a Polymer80 Inc. PF94c, 9mm caliber pistol without a serial number, a type of firearm known as a “ghost gun,” under a pillow on Brooks’s bed.  They also found a 9mm fifty-round drum magazine, two 9mm thirty-round magazines, and a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22, .22 caliber rifle in Brooks’s bedroom.  Brooks was convicted of a felony narcotics offense in Illinois in 1999.    

Brooks was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Brooks was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a two-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.

Brooks 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 Kyndra Lundquist and investigated by the Marion Police Department and the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force.  The task force is composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the Marion Police Department. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-CR-53.

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Updated April 1, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses