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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Iowa

For Immediate Release

June 7, 2012

Stephanie M. Rose, United States Attorney

Contact: Tim Duax
(712) 255-6011

Sioux City Man With History of Violence Gets More Than 27 Years for Federal Drug and Firearms Conviction

A Sioux City man was sentenced May 31, 2012, to over twenty-seven years in federal prison for distributing marijuana, illegally possessing firearms, and possessing firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes.

Isaiah Earl Thomas, age 27, of Sioux City, Iowa, received his prison term after a September 22, 2011, guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessing firearms after being convicted of a crime of domestic violence. Thomas had a number of prior convictions for domestic violence which precluded him from lawfully possessing any firearms.

Information provided by the United States at the sentencing and change of plea hearings revealed that on February 23, 2011, in his Sioux City, Iowa home defendant repeatedly brutalized his girlfriend and her friend who was merely visiting the apartment. Thomas broke two of his girlfriends’s fingers, stood on her head, choked her, forced his hand into her month in an attempt to break her jaw, and shoved a pistol into her eye ripping her eyelid and destroying a tear duct. Thomas knocked his second victim unconscious. After the assaults occurred, Thomas drove his girlfriend to the hospital and instructed her to lie about how she acquired the injuries. Officers found the second victim in Thomas’s apartment unconscious and she too was transported to the hospital to receive medical attention. Officers executed a search warrant for the apartment and found, among other things, two loaded handguns – one of which was covered with fresh blood and hair, several individually packaged baggies of marijuana, two larger Ziplock bags containing marijuana, other items associated with the drug trade. The investigation later revealed Thomas had a long history of violence.

Thomas was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett. Thomas was sentenced to 327 months' imprisonment. A special assessment of $300 was imposed. He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

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

Court file information is available at The case file number is 11-4074.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a cooperative local, state, and federal program aimed at the enhanced prosecution of gun crimes. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Sioux City Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.