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Press Release

Sioux City Man Sent to Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Schonrock, who had three prior felony convictions, was harboring a fugitive when caught in possession of a stolen handgun.

A felon and illegal user of controlled substances who unlawfully possessed a firearm was sentenced to more than three years in prison. 

Robert Schonrock, age 50, from Sioux City, received the prison term after a March 23, 2020, guilty plea to one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and one count of Possession of a Stolen Firearm.

Information presented by the United States at the detention, change of plea, and sentencing hearings revealed that on or about April 30, 2019, Rodolfo Velasco absconded from supervised release in United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.  On or about May 30, 2019, Velasco was found, in possession of drugs and a handgun, at the home of Schonrock, in Sioux City, Iowa.  Schonrock, a thrice convicted felon himself, was found in possession of a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen.  

Schonrock was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Schonrock was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment.   He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

On May 29, 2020, Velasco was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Velasco was sentenced to 77 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a one-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Schonrock is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported 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 United States Marshal’s Service and the Sioux City Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-4058.

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Updated October 5, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses