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Northern Iowa man packing meth, a scale, and a loaded gun faces federal prison

SIOUX CITY - A Northern man who illegally possessed a firearm and drug dealing supplies pled guilty in federal court in Sioux City.

SIOUX CITY – A Northern man who illegally possessed a firearm and drug dealing supplies pled guilty in federal court in Sioux City.

Andrew Mitchell, 36, from Spirit Lake, Iowa, was convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm on October 25, 2023.

Evidence shows that, on August 8, 2023, law enforcement stopped Mitchell for riding his bike on the wrong side of the road in Spencer, Iowa. Once stopped, Mitchell was recognized and identified by the stopping officer due to prior interactions. However, Mitchell provided a false name. Other officers arrived and attempted to handcuff Mitchell while his proper identity was determined. Mitchell resisted being handcuffed and was placed under arrest for interference. During a search of Mitchell upon arrest, law enforcement located a suspected THC vape pen, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a scale with methamphetamine residue, and a loaded 9mm firearm with an obliterated serial number strapped to his chest. At the plea hearing, Mitchell admitted to being a user of controlled substances which prohibit him from possessing firearms.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Mitchell remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Mitchell faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick T. Greenwood and was investigated by the Spencer, Iowa Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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