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Press Release

Man Found With Gun and Drugs After Assaulting Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Was under the influence of multiple controlled substances

A Dubuque man who unlawfully possessed a loaded gun while a drug user was sentenced today to five years in prison.

Anthony Vincenzo Smith, age 27, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison sentence after an October 15, 2019 guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a drug user.

Information disclosed at sentencing and in a plea agreement showed that on May 19, 2019, Dubuque police officers were dispatched to a residence to investigate an assault.  Officers spoke with a woman who Smith had punched in the head several times.  The woman told officers that Smith had guns and drugs with him.  Officers located Smith at a nearby hotel.  They searched Smith’s hotel room and found a digital scale, a loaded magazine containing seven rounds of ammunition, a loaded Taurus PT709 handgun, $815 in United States currency, and 25.88 grams of cocaine.  The gun had previously been reported stolen.  Smith was under the influence of marijuana and cocaine at the time.  He also admitted that he intended to distribute some of the cocaine in his possession.  Smith has a prior felony drug conviction from 2014.  

Smith was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Smith was sentenced to 60 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.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Corkery and investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from its Project Guardian partners.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

Court file information at  The case file number is 19-CR-1030.                                  

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Updated April 6, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses