GREENFIELD — A man working at a local food distribution center recently was fired from his job — and now faces criminal charges — after he brought a handgun to work, records state.

Isaiah Bowie, 29, Indianapolis, was arrested recently after an HR representative at the Smithfield Foods distribution center, located on the county’s west side, called 911 to report the man had brought a gun into the facility.

When confronted by police, Bowie admitted he was carrying a semi-automatic handgun in a holster on his right hip. He said he’d brought the firearm into Smithfield, located at 3271 N. Distribution Way, Greenfield, “for protection against people who want to do harm to him,” court documents state.

Bowie has a felony conviction on his record from a 2008 case out of Wisconsin, officials said. The conviction bars him from carrying a handgun in Indiana.

Bowie now faces a Level 4 felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The charge carries a potential penalty of two to 12 years in prison.

He has pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

Smithfield Foods is among the county’s largest employers, with more than 250 people on its workforce locally, according to the Hancock Economic Development Council.

Even without Bowie’s history, it is against Smithfield’s company policies for employees to bring guns into the building, court documents state.

Bowie was told to hand over his employee badge, and his gun was confiscated by police. Investigators ran Bowie’s information through a national database and found the previous felony conviction, court documents state.

Bowie admitted he did not have a license to carry a gun in Indiana, records show.

The day of his arrest was the second time Bowie was accused of bringing a gun to work with him, alarming his employers and coworkers, court documents state.

Earlier this month, Bowie’s locker at work was searched after he was overheard telling other employees he had a gun, court documents state. No weapon was found at that time, the HR representative told police.

Bowie was booked into the Hancock County Jail and released after posting a $3,000 cash bond.

At press time, representatives from Smithfield Foods had not returned a request for comment on this story.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.