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Justice News

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

Meth Dealer Who Possessed Firearms to Serve 15 Years in Federal Prison

A man who possessed methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and who possessed several firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking crime, including an AR-15 rifle, was sentenced February 12, 2018, to 15 years in federal prison.

Travis Daniel Counsell, 48, from Rockford, Iowa, received the prison term after a July 6, 2017, guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Information provided by the United States at the sentencing and change of plea hearings showed that on February 7, 2017, law enforcement was called to Mercy Medical Center North Iowa to investigate a subject that presented himself in the emergency room with a gunshot to the foot.  Counsell reported he had shot himself in the foot with an AR-15 rifle.  Counsell was a convicted felon, and not able to legally possess firearms.  A search warrant was obtained for Counsell’s residence.  Located during the search warrant was the loaded AR-15, a loaded .45 caliber handgun, and approximately two pounds of high purity methamphetamine.  Counsell knowingly possessed the guns in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime.

Counsell was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Counsell was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment on the drug count and to 60 months’ imprisonment on the gun count, to be served consecutively.  A special assessment of $200 was imposed.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Counsell 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 Jack Lammers and investigated by the North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force, Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Division of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE),

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-3015.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated February 16, 2018