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Press Release

Primgar Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Theft of 55 Guns.

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Ginger Jr. left his family, who were at the hospital grieving his father’s death, broke into his mother’s house and stole the guns.

A convicted felon who possessed stolen guns was sentenced on March 6, 2020, to more than a year in federal prison.

Thomas Robert Ginger, Jr., age 45, from Primgar, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of possession of a stolen firearm.  Ginger was previously convicted of felony sponsoring a gathering for use of drugs. Ginger also has four convictions for OWI. 

Information provided by the United States at the arraignment, change of plea and sentencing hearings, showed that when Ginger learned of his father’s death, he left his grieving family at the hospital, drove nearly two miles to his mother’s home, and kicked in the exterior door.  Once inside, Ginger then broke through another door into an interior “gun room” and stole 55 firearms that had belonged to his father’s Federal Firearm Licensee business.  Ginger also took $7,700 in cash and a briefcase that contained a coin collection.  He hid the guns in a car at one person’s home and hid the money underneath a sink at his home.  When law enforcement confronted Ginger about the crime he initially lied about his whereabouts and involvement.  Later, after the weapons were discovered, he confessed.

Ginger was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Ginger was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Ginger will self-report to a federal prison.

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 our Project Guardian partners.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the O’Brien (Iowa) County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sanborn, Iowa Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-4056.

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Updated March 9, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian