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Press Release

Iowa City Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possession of Ammunition Charges

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

DAVENPORT, Iowa – An Iowa City man was sentenced on Thursday, January 18, 2024, to 120 months in federal prison for Felon in Possession of Ammunition.

According to public court documents and sworn testimony during sentencing, Sanchez Lavelle Watson, 43, was identified by law enforcement after officers were dispatched to an apartment complex in Iowa City in reference to a man waving a gun and threatening others. Officers located a vehicle that was known to have left the scene and initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. Watson was identified as the driver prior to Watson fleeing from police in the vehicle. The vehicle eventually stopped, and Watson proceeded to flee on foot. Nearby the stopped vehicle, officers located a fanny pack containing a handgun with an extended magazine and marijuana. The fanny pack was known to be associated with Watson. As a convicted felon, Watson is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

After completing his term of imprisonment, Watson will be required to serve three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. This case was investigated by the Iowa City Police Department.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN, an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. 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.


Public Information Officer 

Updated January 22, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses