21-Year-Old Sioux City Man Sent to Federal Prison for Firearm Offense | USAO-NDIA

A three-time convicted felon who unlawfully possessed a gun was sentenced January 12, 2022, to 6 years in federal prison.

Austin Rockwood, age 21, from Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after a September 8, 2021, guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. Rockwood was previously convicted of three separate felony convictions.

Evidence in this case revealed Rockwood’s unlawful possession on or about February 11, 2021 was discovered when he was spotted following an unmarked law enforcement unit.  Marked law enforcement units attempted a traffic stop, and Rockwood fled in the car with the firearm. Rockwood eluded officers, at first, by recklessly disregarding the rules of the road and the safety of the motoring public.  Later he abandoned the vehicle, fled on foot with the loaded firearm in hand, and hid the weapon in the freshly fallen snow.    

Rockwood’s violent criminal history includes a 2017 conviction for willful injury causing serious injury, a 2019 conviction for domestic abuse assault, and a 2019 conviction for burglary.  During the burglary, Rockwood and another forced their way into an occupied structure, and while defendant physically attacked the victim, the other man – defendant’s confederate — threatened the victim with a gun. 

Rockwood was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Rockwood was sentenced to 72 months’ imprisonment. Rockwood 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.

Rockwood is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 21-CR-4049.

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