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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Second Federal Felony for Unlawfully Possessing a Gun or Ammunition

Gun, Ammunition, and Drugs Found During Traffic Stop of Guttenberg Man’s Car

A convicted felon who unlawfully possessed ammunition was sentenced today to more than two years in federal prison.

Donald Joseph Boyce, age 59, from Guttenberg, Iowa, received the prison term after a September 5, 2017, guilty plea to possession of ammunition by a felon.  At the guilty plea, Boyce admitted that on March 28, 2017, he possessed .303 caliber ammunition.  Boyce had previously been convicted of a state felony drug manufacturing offense in 2002 and the federal felony offense of being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm in 2003.  Officers from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office found the ammunition in Boyce’s car during a traffic stop.  They also located an Enfield .303 caliber rifle in the backseat.  Boyce asked the officers to throw the gun in the river because he was felon and would be facing significant jail time.  Boyce had methamphetamine in his pocket and was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of his traffic stop.

Boyce was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Boyce was sentenced to 30 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), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.   In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Boyce 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 Clayton County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-cr-1019.

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Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 30, 2018