Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Unintentional Gun Discharge Leads to Four Years in Federal Prison for Felon from Dubuque

Loaded Gun with an Obliterated Serial Number Fell Out of His Pants and Discharged at a Laundromat

A felon who went to a Dubuque laundromat in June 2017 to drop off his laundry but accidently dropped his loaded gun, which discharged when it hit the ground, was sentenced last week to four years in federal prison. 

Christopher Dion Roundtree, age 33, most recently from Dubuque, Iowa, but originally from Chicago, Illinois, received the prison term after an October 26, 2017, guilty plea to possession of a gun by a felon.  In a plea agreement, Roundtree admitted he was a felon and a marijuana user in June 2017, when he possessed a loaded .32 caliber pistol at a Dubuque laundromat.  The pistol had an obliterated serial number.  As Roundtree got out of his SUV to drop off his laundry, the gun, which Roundtree was carrying in his pants, fell out.  The “Derringer”-style gun had a round chambered, and the gun discharged when it hit the ground.  After the gun discharged, Roundtree picked it up, put the gun in his SUV, and went inside the laundromat to drop off his laundry.  When an employee of the laundromat asked defendant about hearing a loud noise, Roundtree lied to the employee and said that the loud noise was a “firework.”  Roundtree then dropped off his clothes at the laundromat—giving his true last name—and his correct telephone number.  Within hours, Dubuque police officers found and apprehended Roundtree with the gun while he was still driving the SUV.  Roundtree had several baggies of marijuana, crack cocaine, and powder cocaine under his seat.  He also admitted to recently smoking marijuana.

Roundtree was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Roundtree was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a two-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Roundtree is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Vavricek and investigated by the Dubuque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Guns, and Explosives. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 2:17-cr-1041-LTS.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 1, 2018