OKLAHOMA CITY — A Lawton man who pleaded guilty to his role in a January 2019 incident in west Lawton that brought in bomb experts and the FBI will have to spend eight years in federal prison.
On Thursday, Phillip James Heath, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Scott L. Palk to serve 96 months in federal prison for possession of illegal explosives and possession of multiple firearms after having been previously convicted of a felony, according to Timothy J. Downing, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. The sentence is to be followed by three years of supervised release.
The concurrent sentences follow Heath’s guilty plea on June 6.
Heath was charged for an incident that began Jan. 30, 2019, when Lawton police responded to a 911 call at his west Lawton apartment. Multiple firearms were found inside the home.
After additional materials were discovered at the scene, the Lawton Police Department was then assisted in the investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the FBI Oklahoma City Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Heath was charged federally five days later with a criminal complaint with being a convicted felon in possession of multiple firearms. A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment that alleged illegal possession of firearms and two lengths of detonating cord, an illegal explosive under federal law on April 3, 2019. The indictment also sought forfeiture of five firearms, 1,404 rounds of various kinds of ammunition and the two lengths of detonating cord.
Palk ordered Heath to forfeit the items listed in the indictment.
In announcing Heath’s sentence, Palk emphasized Heath’s criminal history, his conduct related to the possession of the illegal explosives, the need to protect the public from further crimes of Heath, and the need to adequately deter him from engaging in criminal conduct, Downing said.