Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Iowa
Richard D. Westphal, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 5, 2024

OMB Gang Member Sentenced on Firearms Trafficking and Fentanyl Distribution Charges to 276 Months in Federal Prison

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Des Moines man was sentenced today to 276 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges related to firearms straw purchasing and trafficking, illegally possessing firearms, and the distribution of fentanyl.

According to public court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, Armani Eugene Gates, 20, an OMB gang member, organized for the illegal acquisition of firearms via multiple straw purchasers. Gates then trafficked the guns to other OMB members and associates, in whose possession they were recovered by law enforcement.

One of the guns recovered had been converted to a machinegun, and two of the guns had high-capacity magazines. Two of these firearms were determined to have been used in gang-related shootings.

Additionally, Gates led efforts to acquire and distribute over 3.5 kilograms of fentanyl. Gates employed others to assist him in his drug operation, including at least one minor. He also possessed a firearm in connection with his drug trafficking, as well as utilized residences to store his fentanyl.

In July 2023, federal search warrants were executed related to this investigation, during which approximately 13,000 fentanyl pills, seven firearms, one machinegun conversion device, and $23,000 in cash were seized. Gates was arrested at that time on the federal charges. The press release regarding those warrants is available here:….

After completing his term of imprisonment, Gates will be required to serve five years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Since the inception of ‘Project Safe Neighborhoods’, there have been numerous investigations and prosecutions that have had a significant impact on violent crime in Central Iowa,” stated Des Moines Police Chief Dana D. Wingert. “This is simply another example of what success looks like, which should send a clear message to those in our communities who are involved in violent crime. The United States Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies at all levels are committed to identifying, investigating and prosecuting violent criminals and removing them from our communities. This collective mindset is what underpins our success, yet we will remain diligent in our efforts to keep our citizens safe through the continued work of “Project Safe Neighborhoods.’ ”

“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has given ATF additional tools needed to go after straw purchasers and firearms traffickers who flood our streets with weapons that pose a threat to every single person in Des Moines,” said ATF Kansas City Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bernard Hansen. “This sentence sends a clear message to those who think they can illegally traffic guns into our communities or straw purchase firearms. ATF’s NIBIN technology has proven to be an invaluable resource for law enforcement in our continued pursuit to reduce violent crime and we will never waiver on our commitment to protect the public and to aggressively target firearms traffickers. This is a huge win for public safety that will reduce the proliferation of illegal guns that represent a grave danger to the public, but law enforcement is united and strong. I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all our law enforcement partners for their diligent work and tireless dedication to our shared public safety mission.”

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. Assistant United States Attorneys Kristin M. Herrera and Mallory E. Weiser prosecuted the case. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Des Moines Police Department – Intelligence Division; and the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, and the Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was prosecuted under the new criminal provisions of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Congress enacted and the President signed in June 2022. The Act is the first federal statute specifically designed to target the unlawful trafficking and straw-purchasing of firearms.

This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit….

An official website of the U.S. Department of Justice

Looking for U.S. government information and services?