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Justice News

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Waterloo Felon Sentenced to More Than Four Years in Federal Prison After Brandishing Stolen Gun During an Argument

Firearm was Loaded and Chambered During Domestic Dispute Over a Child

A Waterloo man who brandished a stolen firearm at the mother of his child was sentenced yesterday to more than 57 months in federal prison.

Terrance Durell Sayles, age 27, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after November 28, 2017, guilty pleas to two federal crimes, specifically possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a stolen firearm.  At his plea hearing, Sayles admitted he knowingly possessed a stolen firearm on July 28, 2017, in Waterloo.  Evidence at Sayles’s sentencing hearing established that, during an argument between Sayles and the mother of his child about the care of their son, Sayles brandished the firearm.  The firearm was loaded and chambered at the time.  Officers later apprehended Sayles and found 30 grams of marijuana wrapped in two bandanas in his right front pocket.

At the time Sayles possessed his stolen firearm, he was a convicted felon.  Sayles had prior convictions for carrying weapons, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of cocaine with intent to deliver while in possession of a firearm, and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver while in possession of a firearm.  Sayles also had prior adjudications for willful injury causing bodily injury, assault, interference with official acts, assault causing bodily injury, harassment of a public official, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.  Sayles received the willful injury causing bodily injury adjudication after hitting another person in the head with a hammer.  The assault causing bodily injury adjudication resulted from an incident in which Sayles tripped another person and struck and kicked him several times.

Sayles was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by Chief United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Sayles was sentenced to 57 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), 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.

Sayles 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 Timothy L. Vavricek and investigated by the Waterloo Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 17-CR-2073-LTS.

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Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated April 27, 2018