Public Safety

Waterloo man sentenced to over 3 years in federal prison for stealing gun

Sahjit Phillips faces more charges in Black Hawk County

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Waterloo man who stole a gun from a licensed firearms dealer and then hid it in a stranger’s apartment in an attempt to avoid police was sentenced last week to more than three years in federal prison.

Sahjit Mcyle Phillips, 19, pleaded guilty in June to theft of a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer.

The plea agreement shows Phillips admitted going to Levi Brothers Jewelers in Waterloo on Oct. 10, 2016 and when the employee who was assisting him stepped away, Phillips stole a .45 caliber Kahr handgun and ran out of the store. Phillips then entered an apartment without knowing who lived there and hid the gun in a closet and stole a cell phone from the resident.

Law enforcement arrested Phillips a short time later near the apartment and recovered the gun from the closet, according to the plea.

U.S. District Chief Judge Leonard Strand sentenced Phillips last Thursday to 41 months in prison. He was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison time.

Phillips also has pending charges in Black Hawk County District Court for intimidation with a dangerous weapon, willful injury-causing bodily injury, and carrying weapons in connection with an incident March 7. He is accused of firing multiple shots at another individual, hitting him in the buttocks. His trial is set for Dec. 19.

The federal case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a cooperative local, state and federal program aimed at the enhanced prosecution of gun crimes.

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