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Dubuque Meth User Sentenced to More Than Two Years in Federal Prison after Brandishing and Racking a Stolen Firearm

A man who brandished and racked a stolen firearm during a disturbance outside an apartment complex in Dubuque, Iowa, in August 2018, was sentenced July 25, 2019, to over two years in federal prison.

Matthew Raymond Bills, age 35, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a February 12, 2019, guilty plea to one count of possessing a firearm as a drug user.

In a plea agreement, Bills admitted he was in an argument with two other people outside an apartment complex in Dubuque on August 10, 2018.  During the argument, Bills displayed a handgun and racked it in a threatening manner, causing a round to eject.  When officers arrived at the scene, they found a live .380 round outside the apartment complex and confronted Bills.  Bills told the officers he had hidden the firearm in a closet in a room in the apartment building, and officers later found a loaded Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380 ACP pistol in that location.  The firearm was stolen in Platteville, Wisconsin, less than a month before the argument.  Bills admitted he knew the firearm was stolen.  Bills knew he was a methamphetamine user at the time of the incident, which made it illegal under federal law for him to possess a firearm.  Bills had used marijuana on a daily basis since the age of 14 and had more recently begun using methamphetamine in an attempt to stop using marijuana.  Bills has prior convictions for driving under the influence of marijuana and for possessing marijuana while fishing.

Bills was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Bills was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Bills is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Vavricek and investigated by the Dubuque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-CR-1003.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

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CFS19-19880 07/19/19 Dump Truck vs Power Line - Road Closed DOGTAIL RD / WHITE ST, POTOSI, WI 53820 On Friday, July 19, 2019 at approximately 12:08 pm a Grant County Sheriff's Deputy responded to a one vehicle crash on Dogtail Rd near White St located in the Township of Potosi. Ryan Joseph, age 48 from Cuba City, was driving a Bard Materials 2003 Freightliner Dump Truck when he struck some overhead power lines. Joseph was exiting a driveway where he had just dumped a load. The dump box had not come all the way down as Joseph entered Dogtail Rd. The front of the dump box caught the overhead power lines. The lines were pulled down and a nearby pole was broke off at the base. There was no damage to the dump truck and Joseph was not injured. The Grant County Sheriff's Office was assisted in the matter by the Potosi Fire Department and Alliant Energy. Joseph was cited for inattentive driving. Dogtail Rd was closed for approximately three hours.

CFS19-19900 2 vehicle crash 07/19/19 HWY 80/81, PLATTEVILLE, WI 53818 On 07/19/2019 at 3:30pm, Jessica Janusiak, 34, of Reedsburg, was at the stop sign of the off ramp of Hwy 151 at Hwy 80/81.  Jessica proceeded straight and was struck by Blake Wagner, 19, of Platteville, who was traveling northbound on Hwy 80/81.  Jessica's 2008 Ford Taurus and Blake's 2006 Monte Carlo both sustained disabling damage and were removed from the scene.  Speed and failure to yield were factors in the crash.  The Grant County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Platteville Police Department, Platteville EMS, Platteville Fire Department, SOS Towing and Precision Auto.

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OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF – JO DAVIESS COUNTY Kevin W. Turner, Sheriff Media Release

Date Issued: UPDATED---7/18/19 Time Issued: 11:15am Type of Incident: Accident involving injury Date: July 7, 2019 Time: 3:01pm Location: Highway 20E at South Derinda Road, rural Elizabeth Persons Involved Name Address Age Allison M. Hoeger Port Barrington, Illinois 18 Gary M. Dangelser Bellevue, Iowa 68 Constance Pixley-Dangelser Bellevue, Iowa Juvenile Port Barrington, Illinois Arrests Name Address Age Charges On 7/7/19 at approximately 3:01pm, the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office 911 center received a report of a motor vehicle accident with injuries in the area of Highway 20E and S. Derinda Road in rural Elizabeth. It was reported that a vehicle had struck a motorcycle. Responding Deputies learned that a motor vehicle traveling eastbound on Highway 20E, driven by an Allison M. Hoeger, struck a motorcycle driven by Gary M. Dangelser, which had pulled off of South Derinda Road onto Highway 20E. Deputies on scene requested the assistance of the Illinois State Police Reconstruction Unit, to recreate the accident. Both occupants of the motorcycle were transported by helicopters to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City.

Gary M. Dangelser succumbed to his injuries and died on July 15, 2019 at 1:15pm at the University of Iowa Hospitals.

Investigating Agency Agency: Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office Officer: Lt. Tim Wand Assisting Agencies Illinois State Police Reconstruction Unit Elizabeth Fire, Elizabeth EMS, Air Care 3, UW Med Flight Stockton EMS IDOT Approved By Sheriff Command Lt. Tim Wand 43-3

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Richland County

Sheriff's Department

181 West Seminary Street Richland Center, WI 53581


Iowa County

Sheriff’s Department

1205 North Bequette Street

Dodgeville, WI 53533


Grant County

Sheriff’s Department

1000 North Adams Street

Lancaster, WI 53813


On 06-26-19 the Richland-Iowa Grant Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 206 Dwight St. in the City of Boscobel.  Inside the residence officers located methamphetamine, methamphetamine paraphernalia, marijuana and other items related to the distribution of methamphetamine.  

Mathew A. McCracken. 34 of Boscobel was arrested and transported to the Grant County Jail on two outstanding felony warrants. McCracken will be referred to the Grant County District Attorney’s Office for the following charges.

Possess methamphetamine

Possess drug paraphernalia

Possess marijuana

Maintain drug trafficking place

The Richland Iowa Grant Drug Task Force was assisted by the Southwest Wisconsin Emergency Response Team and the Boscobel Police Department.

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Fri, Jan 11

Mostly Cloudy


0% Humidity: 69%

Wind: SSE 9 mph

UV Index: 1 of 10

Sunrise: 7:31 am

Sunset: 4:50 pm

Mostly cloudy. High 33F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

Fri Night


-- /27°


Humidity: 72%

Wind: ESE 5 mph

UV Index: 0 of 10

Moonrise: 10:44 am

Moonset: 10:17 am

Overcast. Low 27F. Winds light and variable.

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Chad Schumacher 39, was arrested and charged with OWI 2 offense and eluding after taking police on a chase through the city that started on Clark Drive and ended on West, 23rd and Valeria Street after hitting a utility pole around11:52 p.m. last evening. Schumacher was taken to a Dubuque Hospital where he was evaluated and released. Schumacher was arrested after his release around 03:44 a.m. this morning.

We're in the month of December and Dubuque has seen a remarkable decrease in gun violence.

In the year 2018, we have had only 4 shots fired calls, with two injuries this year and there has been a drastic downward trend. In the year 2015, there were thirty-three shots fired calls, six injuries and two deaths.

This all can be contributed to Dubuque Police Chief Dalsing adding increasing police presence to troubled areas of the city, increased video cameras provided by our city leaders and citizen reports of seeing individuals with guns and cases being taken by the federal courts.

Let us hope this can be a trend that can continue.

Great Job Dubuque Christopher Fields Dubuque In Pursuit.

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Dubuque Rite Hite was targeted again by someone apparently not happy with the company. For the second time this month someone has written a note threatening to blow up the business.

Dubuque Fire and Police responded the first time on November 13th. Dubuque Police and Fire units responded to Rite Hite 4300 block of Chavenelle around 9:43 a.m. For a bomb threat.

The building was evacuated by fire and police personnel after they checked the building and employees were allowed back in the building.

Today Dubuque and Fire were called for a bomb threat around 10:16 a.m.this morning after an employee found a letter. The building was checked and employees went to work around noon today.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

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