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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Iowa

For Immediate Release

June 20, 2012

Stephanie M. Rose, United States Attorney

Contact: Tim Duax
(712) 255-6011

Semi–Automatic Firearm Sends Gang Member to Federal Prison

A Sioux City man was sentenced June 8, 2012, to thirty-two months in federal prison.

Justin Albertsen, age,24 from Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 24, 2012, guilty plea to knowingly possessing a firearm and ammunition while being an unlawful user of marijuana.

On May 1, 2007, members of the West Side Locos street gang perpetrated a drive–by shooting in Sioux City, Iowa with a Norinco 7.62X39 mm SKS semi–automatic firearm. Albertsen – also a member of the West Side Locos – possessed the firearm before the attack and it was hidden at his home after the attack.

After the attack, defendant continued to associate with – and engage in crimes with – members of this gang. In 2008, he attempted to shield a fellow gang member from lawful arrest and even barricaded an entrance against United States Deputy Marshals. When defendant was finally located by law enforcement, he was with another West Side Locos member, and the two were in possession, with the intent to distribute, 15 pounds of marijuana.

Albertsen was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett. Albertsen was sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed. He must also serve a 3–year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Albertsen is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

Court file information is available at–bin/ The case file number is CR 08–4056.

This case was prosecuted as 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; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Sioux City Police Department’s Gang Enforcement Unit. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jamie Bowers and Forde Fairchild.