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Press Release

Man Previously Committed to a Mental Institution Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Guns and Receiving Drugs in Jail

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Family Member Sent Him Drugs in Cards Mailed to the Jail

A man who possessed guns illegally and received drugs in the mail while in jail was sentenced July 10, 2019, to more than a year in federal prison.

John Conrad Walgren, age 25, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after pleading guilty to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possession of contraband while in prison.

Walgren had previously been the subject of state proceedings regarding his mental health that made it illegal for him to possess firearms.  His girlfriend obtained multiple guns which he then accessed and possessed.  After being arrested and while in custody for possessing the guns, a family member mailed cards to the jail for Walgren.  Concealed within those cards was alprazolam, commonly called Xanax.

Walgren was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Walgren was sentenced to a total of 14 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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.

Walgren 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 Emily K. Nydle and investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Dubuque Police Department, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. 

Court file information at

The case file numbers are 18-cr-1041 and 19-cr-0052.

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Updated July 15, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods