A man who illegally possessed guns pled guilty January 22, 2021, in federal court in Sioux City.
Travis Grote, 43, from Webb, Iowa, was convicted of possessing stolen firearms and possessing firearms as a prohibited person.
At the plea hearing, Grote admitted that on June 25, 2019, he was involved in a transaction to sell multiple stolen firearms to an undercover law enforcement officer. Grote also admitted that knew he had previously been convicted of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, on or about December 19, 2001, and therefore was a felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.
Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Grote remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Grote faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, and 6 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
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. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1217186/download.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Patrick T. Greenwood and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, DCI Crime Laboratory, and Spencer Police Department.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 20-4014. Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.