Skip to main content
Press Release

Man Sentenced to More than Two Years in Federal Prison for Possessing a Silencer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Cutoff GPS Monitor and Disappeared for a Month While on Release after Pleading Guilty

A man who cut off his GPS ankle monitor while on release after pleading guilty to unlawfully possessing a silencer was sentenced January 6, 2020, to more than two years in federal prison.

Brett Scott Meana, age 44, from Newton, Iowa, received the prison term after a May 28, 2019 guilty plea to possessing an unregistered silencer.

Police were called to Meana’s residence following a domestic disturbance at his residence, during which he held a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself, later admitting he did not intend to kill himself, he just wanted a woman that was present to stop talking and judging him.  Police found an unregistered silencer at Meana’s residence that he had made himself previously.  Evidence at the sentencing hearing showed that after pleading guilty to possessing the unregistered silencer, Meana cutoff his GPS ankle monitor during June 2019.  Meana left the ankle monitor, his wallet, and phone on the side of the road.  He disappeared and was not heard from again for over a month.  He finally made contact with his family and was picked up in a field near Des Moines. 

Meana was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Carter was sentenced to 28 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.

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 the following Project Guardian partners: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Dubuque Police Department, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, and the US Marshal’s.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

Meana 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Dubuque Police Department, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshal’s Service.          

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-cr-1009.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated January 9, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods