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Chicago man sent to prison after attempted murder in Iowa

This news story was published on July 29, 2020.
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Federal courthouse, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS – A Chicago man who unlawfully possessed a firearm while subject to a protective order was sentenced on July 17, 2020, to five years in federal prison after he tried to kill people at an Iowa bar.

Jeareau O’Bryant, age 37, from Chicago, Illinois, received the prison sentence after a September 23, 2019 guilty plea to unlawfully possessing a firearm while subject to the terms of a protective order. The protective order expressly prohibited O’Bryant from legally possessing any firearm or ammunition.

Evidence at sentencing established that, in the early morning hours of September 11, 2016, O’Bryant was involved in a bar fight in Dubuque. Video evidence showed that O’Bryant, after the fight, crouched between two cars along a side street before standing up and shooting several times at another individual who had been in the bar. The court found that O’Bryant was trying to kill the other individual.

O’Bryant was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. O’Bryant was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a three-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.

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 its Project Guardian partners. For more information about Project Guardian, please see

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jacob Schunk and Ashley Corkery and investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Dubuque Police Department.

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