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Press Release

Illegal Alien Sentenced to Prison for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Document Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Illegally Worked Using a Fraudulent Social Security Card and Permanent Resident Card

A Mexican man who illegally possessed a firearm was sentenced today to more than one year in federal prison.

Juan Gonzalez-Matias, age 46, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the United States and residing in Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 5, 2023, guilty plea to two counts of unlawful use of identification documents, two counts of misuse of a social security number, and one count of possession of a firearm by an alien.

At the guilty plea, Gonzalez-Matias admitted he used a fraudulent Social Security card and a fraudulent Permanent Resident Card, also known as a “green card,” both bearing his name, to prove his authorization to work in the United States when he completed employment and tax forms in May 2021 and March 2022 at businesses in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa.  The number on the Social Security card was assigned to another person and the number on the Permanent Resident Card was assigned to a Pakistani female. 

Gonzalez-Matias also admitted that he unlawfully possessed a firearm in September 2022 while being illegally present in the United States.  Gonzalez-Matias was previously removed from the United States in January 1998, April 2004, and March 2012.  On September 23, 2022, Waterloo police officers were called to Gonzalez-Matias’s residence after a report of shots fired.  It was learned from a witness that Gonzalez-Matias, while under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine, fired shots into the air outside the house.  During the execution of a search warrant, officers found a loaded Taurus, PT709, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a small bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the residence.

Gonzalez-Matias was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Gonzalez-Matias was sentenced to 21 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.

Gonzalez-Matias 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 Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Waterloo Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations.

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.

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-CR-2066.

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Updated June 16, 2023