UPDATE: Federal grand jury indicts Stuart man on gun, drugs charges

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Randall Lee Comly, 52, of 615 S.W. Seventh St., #1, Stuart faces federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it and possessing, brandishing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.


Numerous bullet holes pock the walls of the house at 615 S.W. Seventh St., #1, in Stuart, where a shootout occurred Oct. 17. Photo courtesy Mary Little-Van Eaton

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Tuesday, charging a Stuart man with gun and drug crimes in connection with an Oct. 17 shootout and 90-minute standoff in which three law enforcement officers were injured.

Randall Lee Comly, 52, of 615 S.W. Seventh St., #1, Stuart, was charged Oct. 22 with two counts of attempt to commit murder on a peace officer. The state charges will now be dismissed without prejudice to allow the federal charges to proceed first, according to a statement released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Comly is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it and possessing, brandishing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Two Guthrie County Deputy Sheriffs and one Stuart Police Department Officer were injured in the incident. A search of Comly’s Stuart apartment allegedly revealed a .22 caliber revolver and methamphetamine under the bed in the room where Comly barricaded himself.

If convicted, Comly faces at least 25 years in prison and up to life in prison. Under federal law, there is no parole.

Trial is set for Feb. 3, 2020, before U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger. Comly is detained in federal custody pending trial.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Adair County Sheriff’s office, Guthrie County Sheriff’s office and Stuart Police Department. The Adair County Attorney’s office also provided assistance.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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