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Police & Courts: Denison man pleads guilty to gun and silencer possession

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A Denison man pleaded guilty to three separate counts of illegal gun and silencer possession on July 2.

Ian Ward, 37, pleaded guilty to prohibited possession of a firearm, possession of a short-barreled rifle, and possession of silencers, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Sioux City.

The statement, issued July 2, stated that evidence presented at the hearing showed that during a traffic stop on Aug. 21, 2023, a Pocahontas County deputy found Ward to be under the influence of fentanyl, which he admitted to the officer. Additionally, Ward was found to be in possession of six traditional firearms and various substances, including methamphetamine and THC wax. The release also stated that Ward admitted to previous usage of fentanyl, meth and marijuana, along with a felony drug offense conviction in Minnesota. This prohibited Ward from possessing any firearms.

The case is a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is a program that aims to unite all levels of law enforcement and their communities to reduce gun violence and other violent crimes in an attempt to make safer neighborhoods for all residents. The program, along with a crime reduction strategy, was released on May 26, 2021, with core principles surrounding trust of the community, support for community-based organizations to prevent violence, developing strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring results from the program.

Ward will remain in custody of the United States Marshal until a sentencing date is set before District Court Judge Leonard Strand. Ward faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a maximum of three years parole for the prohibited possession of a firearm. He also faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and a maximum of three years parole for the convictions of possession of illegal firearms and silencers.

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