(STL.News) – A man who illegally possessed a firearm was sentenced May 28, 2020, to more than 4 years in federal prison.
Xavier Rhone, 23, from Fort Dodge, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 25, 2019, guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon. Rhone was previously convicted of going armed with intent, in the Iowa District Court for Webster County, on or about August 3, 2015.
Evidence at the plea and sentencing hearings showed that on August 25, 2018, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle of which Rhone was a passenger. During an inventory of the vehicle, officers located a backpack that contained a handgun. Officers sent the handgun and backpack to the DCI Laboratory to be tested in order to determine the owner of the firearm. The Laboratory Report determined that the DNA on the handgun matched Rhone’s DNA. It was also determined that the firearm had previously been stolen. Evidence in this case further showed, that Rhone used or possessed the firearm in connection with the felony offenses of Carrying Weapons, in violation of Iowa Code § 724.4(1), and Robbery, First Degree, in violation of Iowa Code §§ 711.1 and 711.2.
Rhone was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Rhone was sentenced to 56 months’ and 18 days’ imprisonment. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Rhone is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
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.