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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Iowa

For Immediate Release

August 31, 2012

Stephanie M. Rose, United States Attorney

Contact: Tim Duax
(712) 255-6011

Twice Convicted Felon Convicted of Federal Gun Crime

A man who possessed a firearm after having been convicted of two previous felonies, pled guilty on August 29, 2012, in federal court in Sioux City.

Terry Leo Wirkus, age 57, from Linn Grove, Iowa, was convicted of possessing a firearm having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

At Wirkus's change of plea hearing, Wirkus admitted that he possessed a .22 caliber rifle. Wirkus further admitted he was a twice convicted felon. According to information presented at the change of plea hearing by the United States, investigation revealed that on June 28, 2011, law enforcement received a report regarding some
harassing phone calls and text messages being received from Wirkus. The caller also revealed that Wirkus had a gun hanging on his living room wall. On July 1, 2011, a search warrant was executed at defendant's home, and a .22 caliber repeating rifle and ammunition were discovered.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Wirkus remains free on bond previously set pending sentencing. Wirkus faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

Court file information is available at The case file number is CR 12-4014.

The case is being 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 ATF; and the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office; The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.