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Justice News

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

Monday, December 4, 2017

Waterloo Man Sentenced to 41 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing a Gun

A man who stole a gun from a licensed Waterloo firearms dealer was sentenced on November 30, 2017, to more than three years in federal prison.


Sahjit Mcyle Philips, age 19, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a June 1, 2017, guilty plea to theft of a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer.


In a plea agreement, Phillips admitted going to Levi Brothers Jewelers in Waterloo while the store was open.  When an employee who was assisting him stepped away, Phillips stole a .45 caliber firearm.  Phillips ran from the store with the gun.  He then went to and entered an apartment without knowing who lived there.  Phillips took a cell phone from the resident and hid the gun in a closet.  Law enforcement arrested Phillips a short time later near the apartment and recovered the gun.


Phillips was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Phillips was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.


Phillips currently has charges pending in Black Hawk County for intimidation with a dangerous weapon, willful injury-causing bodily injury, and carrying weapons relating to an incident on March 7, 2017.  In those charges, Phillips is alleged to have pulled a firearm from his waistband and fired multiple shots at another individual, hitting him in the buttocks.  As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 


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


The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Nydle and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Waterloo Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, and ATF. 


Court file information at

The case file number is 17-CR-02001-01.


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Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Updated December 7, 2017