A man who illegally possessed a gun was sentenced January 23 to more than three years in federal prison.

Adrian Gomez, age 24, from Sioux City, received the prison term after a September 13, 2019, guilty plea to being a felon, drug user and domestic abuse misdemeanor in possession of a firearm.

Evidenced produced by the United States at the detention, change of plea, and sentencing hearings revealed Gomez was prohibited from possessing firearms because he had previously been convicted of three felony crimes of burglary in Nebraska and Iowa. He was also prohibited from possessing guns because he had previously been convicted of domestic abuse assault in Iowa, and he was a user of illegal drugs. Each of these three facts precluded Gomez from lawfully possessing firearms.

Gomez’s unlawful possession was discovered when law enforcement were called with report of home burglary that resulted in a safe being dragged into an alley by the would-be burglars. Law enforcement found the locked safe and followed a drag-path back to the home it came from.

Subsequent investigations revealed a handgun, a loaded handgun magazine, and $4,044 in cash, in the safe. Evidence also showed Gomez had distributed marijuana. Gomez attempted to obstruct the investigation by asking a witness to lie to enforcement and claim that she owed the firearm in the safe and that Gomez had no knowledge of it. This effort failed, and it was determined that not only did Gomez possess the firearm in the safe, but that he had also possessed a rifle in the past, with which he threatened another.

Gomez was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Gomez was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Gomez 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.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from our Project Guardian partners. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1217186/download.

The case was investigated by the Sioux City Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

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