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Press Release

Man with Violent History Involving Guns Sentenced to a Decade in Prison for Possessing a Gun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Has a Lengthy and Violent Criminal History Including Shooting and Killing Another Person

A convicted felon and domestic abuser who possessed a gun during a domestic incident was sentenced February 26, 2019, to the maximum sentence allowed, ten years in federal prison.

Kenneth Lamont Sanders, age 38, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 13, 2018, guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  Sanders was prohibited from possessing guns because he was a convicted felon and domestic abuser.

Evidence presented at an earlier hearing showed Sanders was in an argument with his then-girlfriend when a minor in the residence heard her yelling “Put the gun down! Put the gun down!”  After police arrived on the scene, they recovered a gun in the couch at the residence.  The girlfriend had visible injuries to her face and neck.  During sentencing, the judge found that Sanders obstructed justice by trying to influence the testimony of the victim.

Sanders’s criminal history includes an adjudication for murder when he shot and killed another male.  Sanders’s history also includes convictions for battery, aggravated unlawful use of weapons, carrying weapons, domestic assault, domestic battery, aggravated assault, battery, criminal mischief, interference with official acts, assault, assault of a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of cocaine, resisting a peace officer, and numerous alcohol-related offenses.  Both the prior domestic battery and the domestic assault convictions involved guns.

Sanders was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Sanders was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.  This was the maximum sentence allowed by law.  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.

Sanders 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 Dubuque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Court file information at

The case file number is 18-CR-1025.

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Updated February 28, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods