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Waterloo couple, both convicted felons, sentenced to prison for unlawfully possessing a gun


This news story was published on July 15, 2019.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – A Waterloo couple who threatened the woman’s ex-boyfriend with a gun were sentenced to federal prison.

John Joseph Sanford, Jr., age 43, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a March 6, 2019, guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. Laika Latrece Burt, age 43, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a March 1, 2019, guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

At their guilty pleas, Sanford and Burt both admitted that they knowingly possessed a firearm on January 1, 2018, after having been previously convicted of a felony offense. Evidence shows that on January 1, 2018, Burt retrieved a gun from her house and she and Sanford drove to her ex-boyfriend’s home where they threatened him with the loaded handgun. Police responded to the residence and found the loaded handgun in Burt’s car. Sanford and Burt were later married in April 2018.

Sanford had previously been convicted in the Iowa District Court in Black Hawk County of (1) burglary, second degree, in 1994; (2) distribution of a controlled substance to a person under age eighteen in 1998; (3) possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver in 1998; and (4) possession of cocaine base, third offense, in 2007. Sanford is currently serving a five year sentence for a conviction on January 25, 2019, in Black Hawk County for possession of methamphetamine, third offense, and possession of cocaine, third offense.

Burt had previously been convicted in the Iowa District Court in Black Hawk County in 2001 of (1) possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; and (2) a drug tax stamp violation. Burt is currently serving a five year sentence for a conviction on November 26, 2018, in Black Hawk County for possession of marijuana, third offense.

Sanford and Burt were sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade. Sanford was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. Burt was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment. She must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Sanford and Burt are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to an Iowa state prison to complete their state sentences.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Waterloo Police Department.

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