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Press Release

Sioux City Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegal Gun Possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man with a history of felony convictions – including 2017 convictions for operating while intoxicated, eluding, and homicide by vehicle – was sentenced Friday, October 13, 2023, to eight years in federal prison.

Jerell Wilson, age 30, of Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after a May 24, 2023, jury verdict finding him guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Evidence at trial and sentencing showed that while Sioux City Police were investigating a June 9, 2022, homicide, it was learned through witness and video surveillance that Wilson had been at the crime scene prior to, and after, the homicide, with a Coach backpack containing multiple firearms.  Armed with this information, on June 23, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Wilson’s home, where a loaded gun – with a round in the chamber – was found in his bed, along with the Coach bag and ammunition for multiple firearms that were not found in the search. Wilson refused to attend his own federal trial.   

Wilson had previously been convicted of attempted possession of a defaced firearm, theft in the first degree, and, most recently, 2017 convictions for operating while intoxicated, eluding, and homicide by vehicle – reckless driving for causing the death of his uncle when he fled from police while under the influence. Wilson was paroled on his 2017 offenses in May of 2020.  During his parole, he attended a meeting where he was warned of the consequences of possessing a firearm, and offered access to any services he might need to rebuild his life (employment, mental health counseling, transportation, etc.).  Despite this opportunity, defendant committed the instant federal offense less than a year after being discharged from state supervision. 

Wilson was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 96 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.

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, Timothy Duax, stated, “It is unfortunate when an individual rejects assistance, rejects services and chooses the path of criminality, but when that occurs, we must act to ensure the safety of law-abiding citizens.”

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.

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

The case was investigated by the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-04061.

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Updated October 19, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses