Skip to main content
Press Release

Shoplifting Leads to a Federal Prison Sentence for Illegally Possessing a Gun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Convicted Felon and Meth User Possessed a Gun and Fled from Police

A Vinton man was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison.

Anthony Hill, age 29, from Vinton, Iowa, received the prison term after an October 17, 2019 guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  Hill admitted to being a methamphetamine user and convicted felon when in possession of a gun.  Hill had a prior felony conviction involving the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Information in earlier court filings showed that during September 2019, Hill was seen shoplifting at a store and hiding the items in a bag in the parking lot.  Police recovered the bag and found a handgun with an obliterated serial number inside.  Hill was located getting into a car and a short chase followed.  After Hill’s arrest, he admitted using methamphetamine earlier in the day.  Hill was previously convicted of multiple felony offenses related to manufacturing methamphetamine in a single state case in 2011.  Previous court filings showed officers also had evidence to suggest Hill was also involved in the distribution of methamphetamine.

Hill was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Hill was sentenced to 84 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.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.  The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support its Project Guardian partners.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see /media/1122011/download?inline.

Hill 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 Emily K. Nydle and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). 

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-cr-00097.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated January 29, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods