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Forest City Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Firearms Charges

A man who possessed a handgun after having been convicted of a felony, pled guilty on December 19, 2011, in federal court in Sioux City.

Kristen James Nelson, age 27, from Forest City, Iowa, was convicted of possessing a firearm having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; possessing a stolen firearm; and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Evidence by the United States at the change of plea hearing showed Nelson, who had previously been convicted for possession of a drug precursor, in Hancock County, Iowa, on or about October 29, 2009, admitted he possessed (at his home in Forest City, Iowa) a firearm which had an obliterated serial number and was stolen. This crime was discovered when a probation officer was performing a probation supervision visit/consent search at Nelson’s home. The firearm alleged in the
indictment was hidden under a table, in a padlocked black case, for which the
Nelson had the key. Elsewhere in the house – including Nelson’s bedroom –
several items of drug paraphernalia were located.

Nelson eventually told officers the handgun was his, but that he had just found it, the padlock, and the key in a ditch. Another man, however, later confessed that he learned defendant wanted to acquire a handgun, and had then sold defendant the stolen weapon at the greatly discounted price of $250.00.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Nelson remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. For each Count Nelson faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

Court file information is available at The case file number is CR 11-3027.

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