Public Safety

Dubuque County man sentenced to one year in federal prison for firearms

Officers also found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and ammunition

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Dubuque County man who illegally had a firearm and methamphetamine was sentenced Tuesday to one year in federal prison.

Brett John Schmerbach, 44, of Holy Cross, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court last September to possession of a firearm by a felon. During the plea hearing, Schmerbach admitted he had three long guns in December of 2016. He had two shotguns, a 20 gauge and 12 gauge, and a .22 caliber rifle. At the time he possessed the guns, Schmerbach had twice been convicted felony drunken driving offenses.  

The guns were found at Schmerbach’s residence after police obtained a search warrant. Besides the guns, officers also found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and ammunition.

U.S. District Senior Judge Linda Reade also ordered Schmerbach to pay a fine of $5,500 and also serve three years of supervised release following his prison time.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer.

Schmerbach will remain in U.S. Marshal’s custody until he can be taken to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Nydle and investigated by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. 

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