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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Two Linn County Men Each Sentenced to More than a Decade in Prison for Stealing Guns

Men Stole 60 Guns from Two Different Licensed Dealers

Two men from Linn County, Iowa, who stole guns from two federally licensed firearms dealers in June 2017 were each sentenced on February 13, 2018, to more than ten years in federal prison.

John Gillespie, age 19, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 31, 2017, guilty plea to two counts of theft from a federal firearms licensee.  Jeremy Reynolds, age 18, from Hiawatha, Iowa, received the prison term after September 1, 2017, guilty plea to two counts of theft from a federal firearms licensee.

At their plea hearings, both Gillespie and Reynolds admitted to breaking into America’s Second Amendment Firearms in Cedar Rapids on June 3, 2017, and Midwest Shooting in Hiawatha on June 16, 2017.  In total, the two stole 60 guns from the two stores.  Law enforcement officers arrested Reynolds near Midwest Shooting shortly after the break in.  Officers arrested Gillespie several hours later after locating him in a car containing a duffle bag with multiple guns stolen from Midwest Shooting.  After his arrest, Gillespie attempted to discard one of the guns stolen from America’s Second Amendment Firearms in the back of a police car. 

Gillespie was sentenced to 131 months’ imprisonment.  Reynolds was sentenced to 121 months’ imprisonment.  Both Gillespie and Reynolds were ordered to pay a special assessment of $200 and were ordered to make $12,996.96 in restitution to the two businesses.  Both most also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Gillespie and Reynolds were each sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.   In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Gillespie and Reynolds are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Nydle and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Hiawatha Police Department, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the Loves Park Police Department.  

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. Gillespie’s case file number is 17-CR-00050 and Reynolds’ case file number is 17-CR-00051.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated February 14, 2018