Le Mars Man to Federal Prison for Gun Crimes

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A man who illegally possessed firearms, stored them for a convicted felon, and provided a false statement to a firearms dealer was sentenced June 24, 2022, in federal court in Sioux City to more than three years in federal prison.

Jason Blau, 46, from Le Mars, Iowa, pled guilty on February 10, 2022, to being a drug user in possession of firearms and providing a false statement to a federal firearms dealer.

At the plea and sentencing hearings, evidence showed that Blau was a daily user of methamphetamine.  Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Blau’s residence in January of 2021, and seized drug user paraphernalia, methamphetamine, thousands of rounds of ammunition and 17 guns, including rifles, shotguns, and handguns.  Blau had obtained guns and ammunition from Robert Hansen, and stored them for Hansen, who was a convicted felon. Blau had previously straw-purchased (with a false statement) two AR-15 rifles for Hansen.  Hansen asked Blau to purchase and store guns because Hansen was prohibited from doing so due to his criminal history.  

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.

Sentencing was held before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Blau was sentenced to 45 months’ imprisonment and must serve a term of three years of supervised release following imprisonment.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Blau remains in custody of the United States Marshal until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office. 

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

The case file number is 21-4053. 

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