By Bob Steenson, email@example.com
A Mason City man has pleaded guilty to stealing about 50 handguns from a rural residence southeast of Charles City after Christmas last year.
Troy L. Bijani, age 22, pleaded guilty in Floyd County District Court Monday morning to burglary in the second degree, a Class C felony; and to theft in the second degree, a Class D felony.
The theft count had originally been charged as first degree theft, a Class C felony, but was reduced as part of the plea agreement.
According to court records, Bijani and another man entered the rural residence on Dec. 26 while the owners of the home were sleeping and removed many handguns from the residence.
Bijani and the other man, Xavier T. Frank, age 24, of Charles City, were charged with breaking into the home and having in their possession about 50 allegedly stolen handguns with a value of more than $10,000.
Frank has pleaded not guilty to charges of second degree burglary and first-degree theft.
As part of Bijani’s guilty plea, the Floyd County Attorney’s Office will recommend that he be sentenced to suspended prison sentences of up to 10 years on the Class C felony and up to five years on the Class D felony, suspended fines and surcharges, three to five years of probation and “placement in Beje Clark or similar facility until maximum benefits are achieved.”
Beje Clark is a residential facility in Mason City.
Sentencing on the case has beens set for March 4.
At the plea hearing Monday, Bijani’s attorney, Nellie O’Mara of Mason City, asked that he be released under supervision until sentencing, but County Attorney Rachel Ginbey said the state would prefer that he remain in jail until sentencing and space is available at Beje Clark.
Judge Gregg Rosenbladt ruled that Bijani should remain in jail.
“Frankly, I would just as soon that you be available, clean and sober, and get your matters taken care of in court before we talk about release to Beje Clark,” Rosenbladt said.