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Press Release

Mason City Man Convicted Of Unlawful Possession Of A Firearm By A Felon

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man who possessed a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense was convicted by a jury yesterday, after a one-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Billy Douglas Thorne, 57, from Mason City, Iowa, was convicted of one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.  The verdict was returned on April 17, 2014, following about one hour of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that on July 24, 2012, Thorne traded his dog for a .22 caliber rifle which he intended to use to shoot his son.  Fearing that police would arrive and find the gun in his residence, Thorne had others hide the gun in a Mason City park.  After Thorne was arrested on harassment charges, the gun was turned over to the police.  Thorne had previously been convicted in 1997 in the State of Florida of five counts of Burglary of a Dwelling and one count of Armed Burglary, all felony offenses.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Thorne remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Thorne faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Ankeny Police Department, and the Mason City Police Department. 

Court file information is available at  The case file number is 13-CR-3052.

Updated February 19, 2015