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Combatants in Iowa gun battle sentenced to federal prison


This news story was published on April 3, 2019.
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SIOUX CITY – Two men who feloniously exchanged gunfire on Sioux City, Iowa’s Near-North Side have been sentenced to federal prison. One was sentenced today to more than six years in federal prison. Another was already sentenced on January 16, 2019 to more than a year in federal prison.

Donald Rashard Smith, Jr., 31, of Yankton, South Dakota, received his prison term of 77 months’ after a November 20, 2018, guilty plea to Possession of a Firearm as a Prohibited Person. Henry Lee Booth, Jr., 25, of Sioux City, Iowa received a prison term of 18 months’ after a June 28, 2018, guilty plea to Possession of a Firearm as a Prohibited Person and Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Evidence at the plea hearings and sentencings revealed that in the early morning hours of October 29, 2017, Smith, a felon, and Booth, a drug user and dealer, engaged in a gunfight sparked by a romantic quarrel. Smith approached a residence used by Booth, and called out, Booth stepped outside of the house and engaged Smith. The two then repeatedly fired at each other in the residential neighborhood. At least one bullet entered the Booth’s residence, where a family, including young children, were sleeping.

When the Sioux City Police arrived the gun fight was over. The ensuing investigation revealed evidence of Booth’s drug use, drug dealing, and firearm possession. It was also determined Booth and Smith were the combatants.

Smith was sentenced in Sioux City by Chief United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand. Smith was sentenced to 77 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.

Booth was sentenced in Sioux City by Chief United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand. Booth was sentenced to 18 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.

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.

Smith is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison. Booth was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the United States Marshal.

The case was investigated by the USDOJ’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

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