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Press Release

Des Moines Man Sentenced for Discharging a Firearm During a Drug Deal, Resulting in the Death of a 15-Year-Old Boy

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

Des Moines, Iowa – Brett Michael Dobberke, age 22, of Des Moines, was sentenced today to 16 years in prison for discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

According to court documents and the facts detailed at the sentencing hearing, on November 7, 2021, Dobberke set up a drug deal, via Snapchat, with an individual unknown to him. Dobberke arrived at the drug deal with a loaded gun. The customer who arrived to buy drugs from Dobberke was a 15-year-old boy. During the drug deal, Dobberke and the 15-year-old boy exchanged gunfire, and Dobberke shot and killed the minor victim. Following the shooting, Dobberke did not call for help or render aid to the victim and instead left the scene.

After Dobberke killed the minor victim, he did two more drug deals that same night. He also hid the shell casing from the discharged round that killed the victim. When police officers located Dobberke, he had another loaded gun in his vehicle. The gun Dobberke used to shoot and kill the victim was located at his residence.

U.S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa; and the Des Moines Police Department made the announcement.

The Des Moines Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mikaela J. Shotwell and Kristin M. Herrera prosecuted the case, with assistance from Victim Witness Specialists Charlotte Kovacs and Katie Blanchard.


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer

Updated November 23, 2022

Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses