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Press Release

Man Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and Meth User

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Defendant was in possession of a stolen firearm, and drug paraphernalia

A felon and unlawful user of methamphetamine who possessed a stolen firearm was sentenced on July 12, 2018, to more than 5 years in federal prison.

Gibbons, 30, from Sanborn, Iowa, received the prison term after an April 17, 2018, guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon and unlawful user of a controlled substance.  Gibbons had previously been convicted of two felonies out of O’Brien County, Iowa: (2015) possession of methamphetamine, third or subsequent offense, and (2009) deliver or conspire to deliver marijuana.

At a prior proceeding, the government presented evidence that on March 9, 2017, officers observed Gibbons, who was on state parole, driving a vehicle in which his sole passenger was a man suspected of burglarizing a residence and stealing seven firearms.  Hours later, officers approached Gibbons and questioned him regarding the suspected burglar.  During the questioning, officers observed Gibbons in possession of drug paraphernalia and subsequently informed him that he would be taken into custody.  Prior to leaving the residence, Gibbons, who was wearing only a t-shirt and jeans, declined to take his jackets in spite of the cold weather.  However, without warning, Gibbons bolted for the jackets, wedged himself in between the jackets and the officer standing nearby, and began fumbling through them.  It was during this time that the officer observed what later turned out to be a.45 caliber handgun.  The handgun was one of the seven stolen firearms. 

Gibbons was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Gibbons was sentenced to 63 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), 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.

Gibbons is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ajay J. Alexander and was investigated by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, Spencer Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-CR-4042-LTS.

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Updated July 13, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods