By Bob Steenson, email@example.com
A Mason City man who pleaded guilty to stealing about 50 handguns from a rural Charles City residence has been placed on three to five years probation and ordered to spend time at a residential facility.
Troy Lazaro Bijani, age 22, was sentenced Monday in Floyd County District Court.
He had originally been charged with second-degree burglary and first-degree theft, both Class C felonies, but the first-degree theft charge was dropped to second-degree theft, a Class D felony, as part of the agreement to plead guilty.
Judge Colleen Weiland sentenced Bijani to up to 10 years in jail and a $1,000 fine plus 35 percent state surcharge on the burglary conviction, and up to five years in prison and a $750 fine plus 35 percent surcharge on the theft conviction.
Both jail sentences and both fines were suspended and Bijani was ordered to be placed on three to five years probation with the Iowa Department of Correctional Services.
He was also ordered to be placed at Beje Clark Residential Facility in Mason City or a similar facility “until maximum benefits are achieved.”
According to court records, Bijani and another man entered a rural residence southeast of Charles City on Dec. 26, 2018, while the owners of the home were sleeping, and removed many handguns from a glass case in 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, both Class C felonies. Trial on those charges is currently set for April 2 in Floyd County District Court.