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Press Release

Sioux City Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing Firearms Twice In One Month

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Harper, who represented himself, pled guilty shortly before the government began presenting its case.

A man with a lengthy criminal history entered a plea of guilty March 13, 2023, after seating a jury in federal court in Sioux City.

Marlo Harper, aka Umar Amir Al-Sayyaad Allahdheen, age 46, from Sioux City, Iowa, plead guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and drug user.

After proceeding to a trial and seating a jury, Harper admitted that on two separate occasions, within the month of August 2021 he unlawfully possessed firearms.

On August 10, 2021, Harper was stopped by Sioux City Police for traffic infractions.  Upon contact with the occupants in the vehicle, the officer detected an odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.  The occupants were removed, and a subsequent search of the vehicle was conducted.  When Harper exited the vehicle, he admitted having a firearm and a knife on his person.  A loaded handgun – with a round in the chamber – was removed from his waistband. Officers also located a fanny pack in the trunk that contained ammunition. Harper also had an open container of alcohol.

On August 24, 2021, Harper was stopped for illegal window tint. When the Iowa State Trooper made contact with the occupants, he noted an odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. During the traffic stop investigation, approximately 2 grams of marijuana was found, along with a loaded handgun in the center counsel, which was positioned for easy access by Harper, who was driving the car.  Harper also had a set of nunchucks between the driver seat and center counsel.  Three additional firearms were found in the trunk as well as ammunition and a samurai sword. 

Harper has a lengthy criminal history including: Assault in the 1st Degree, in Hennepin County, Minnesota; Assault in the Second Degree, in Ramsey County, Minnesota; Aggravated Assault (Family Violence), and one count of Terroristic Threats in Fulton County, Georgia; and Theft, in Tarrant County, Texas.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set for a later date, after a presentence report is prepared.  Harper remains in the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.  Harper faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 5-years of supervised release following any imprisonment on each of the two counts of conviction.

This case was investigated by the Iowa State Patrol, the Iowa Department of Narcotics Enforcement, the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office and the Sioux City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ron Timmons and Forde Fairchild. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21-4085.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated March 14, 2023

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Firearms Offenses