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Press Release

Sioux City, Iowa Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Role in Conspiracy to Possess Stolen Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Bigler had numerous prior felony convictions.

Ian Bigler, age 34, from Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after a pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess stolen firearms and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and drug user.

Evidence in the case revealed that on October 1, 2021, Bigler participated in a home burglary where he and a coconspirator stole 10 guns. The burglary was planned in advance, and Bigler used diversions to insure the home was empty when the burglary was committed.  Afterward, Bigler took several steps to conceal the conspiracy.  On October 11, 2021, Bigler, fled from police in a 2008 white Dodge Ram pickup truck that contained evidence of the burglary (including a pistol which had been stolen during the burglary).  On October 15, 2021, Bigler equipped himself with a bulletproof vest and two firearms (including a Pistol, which had been stolen during the burglary) and a shortened shotgun, secreted himself from law enforcement in a home in North Sioux City, South Dakota, and held another person against his/her will.  Additionally, at various times Bigler researched the internet for ways to conceal the conspiracy. The topics included: “how does the FBI track you,” “how to hide,” “how to beat drones,” and “us marshals wanted list.”

Additionally, Bigler was also held accountable for a November 15, 2020, incident where he brandished a firearm in an apparent attempt to rob or extort a local business. 

Bigler has a lengthy criminal history.  He was previously convicted of several felonies: burglaries, willful injury, and misdemeanor assault while displaying a firearm, amongst other crimes. 

Bigler was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 180 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.

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.

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

The case was investigated by LeMars, Iowa Police Department, Sioux City, Iowa Police Department, and ATF, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-4022.

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Updated July 25, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses