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Press Release

Spencer, Iowa Man, Who Twice Illegally Possessed Firearms, Sentenced to Federal Prison

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

A man who illegally possessed two separate guns, on two separate occasions, was sentenced, June 3, 2022, to more than 8 years in federal prison.

Demetrius Wright, 41, from Spencer, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 19, 2021, guilty plea to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Evidence in the case revealed Wright, on two occasions in 2021, illegally possessed two different guns, a Glock .22 Caliber semi-automatic handgun and a Smith and Wesson, M&P 15-22, .22 LR Caliber semi-automatic handgun. 

This after Wright had been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in January 2017, and while he was subject to two different protection orders, issued in Iowa and Florida.  Each of these prohibitions prohibited Wright from lawfully possessing firearms.

On April 23, 2021, in Spencer, Iowa Wright possessed the Smith and Wesson, M&P 15-22, .22 LR caliber pistol after it was “straw purchased” for him by another person.  Wright then used it in an attempt to threaten another person by making a threatening video with the firearm.

On or about August 1, 2021, in Sioux City, Iowa Wright possessed the Glock .22 Caliber semi-automatic handgun after another person used it to commit a shooting in an apparent effort to conceal it from law enforcement investigating the shooting. 

Wright was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Wright was sentenced to 96 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve 36 months of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Wright 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.

The case was investigated by the Spencer, Iowa Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department, the Clay and Woodbury County Attorneys’ Offices, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety: Division of Narcotics Enforcement.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21-4071.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated June 13, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses