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Press Release

Waterloo Man Who Crashed Vehicle After Police Chase and Possessed Gun Sentenced to Over Eleven Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time

A Waterloo man, who possessed a gun as a felon and while under the influence of methamphetamine, was sentenced May 17, 2022, to 137 months in prison.

Willie Traymone Phillips, age 40, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison sentence following a September 10, 2021 guilty plea to possession of a firearm as a prohibited person and possession of a controlled substance after two or more prior drug convictions.

Information disclosed at sentencing and plea hearings revealed that, in August 2020, Phillips was pulled over by an Iowa State Trooper in Black Hawk County.  The trooper approached the vehicle and observed Phillips digging through a bag of what appeared to be drugs.  The trooper asked for Phillips’ identification, at which point Phillips sped off.  Phillips led troopers on a chase.  At one point, he crossed across four lanes of traffic, during the daytime, and crashed his vehicle.  Phillips fled from the vehicle but was stopped by officers.  There was one female passenger in Phillips’ vehicle.  She suffered serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital where she underwent surgery.  Officers searched Phillips’ vehicle and located a sawed-off shotgun and baggies containing methamphetamine, cocaine, and K2.  Phillips admitted he was under the influence of methamphetamine, which was confirmed through additional testing.  Phillips has 10 prior criminal convictions. 

Phillips was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Phillips was sentenced to 137 months’ imprisonment.  Phillips was ordered to make payment of $200 to the special assessment fund.  He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Corkery.  This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) through a cooperative effort of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.  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.

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-CR-2057.

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Updated May 18, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses