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Press Release

Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Counts of Firearm Possession by a Drug User and Making False Statements to Purchase Firearms

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

A man who possessed firearms as a drug user and made false statements during the purchase of firearms pled guilty on June 7, 2024, in federal court in Sioux City.

Brian Lee Byers, age 39, from Christmas, Florida, was convicted of 4 counts of possession of a firearm by an unlawful drug user and 4 counts of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

At the plea hearing, Byers admitted that between July of 2019 and February of 2020, in Cero Gordo County, Iowa, Black Hawk County, Iowa, Winnebago County, Iowa, Grundy County, Iowa and Hancock County, Iowa he possessed multiple firearms while using marijuana and methamphetamine. He admitted that on July 25, 2019, November 9, 2019, February 22, 2020, and February 24, 2020, he stated on federal forms he was not a drug user while purchased multiple firearms. 

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Byers remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Byers faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ up to life, a fine of $250,000, and 5 years of supervised release. 

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 Kevin Fletcher and was investigated by the Mason City Police Department, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-CR-3018.

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Updated June 10, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses