federal grand jury indicts five men from various northern alaska communities for firearms crimes
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen Loeffler announced today that five men were indicted in four separate indictments by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for firearms crimes.
In a one-count indictment, Michael Richard Stearns, 58, of Nikolai, Alaska, is charged with being a felon in possession of a machine gun, specifically a PWA Model Commando 5.56mm caliber fully automatic rifle and an IMBEL Model R1A1 Sporter .308 caliber rifle. The indictment alleges that Stearns has already been convicted of several felony offenses, which prohibits him from possessing firearms.
Assistant United States Attorney Craig M. Warner, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervised release following service of a prison sentence.
In a one-count indictment, William James Clark, 37, a transient, is charged with being felon in possession of firearms, specifically a Helwan, 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Ruger .22 caliber New Model Single Six revolver.
Assistant United States Attorney Tom Bradley, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
A nine-count indictment alleges that Jeramy James Freriks, 34, and Rodney Lee Drake, 51, both of Fairbanks, Alaska, illegally possessed firearms on January 15, 2008. The indictment alleges that Drake possessed a Ruger .357 caliber revolver, after having 10 prior felony convictions, and that Freriks possessed a Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic pistol, after having three prior felony convictions. The charges also include allegations that Drake had cocaine in his possession, and that in the weeks prior to January 15, 2008, Freriks was involved in transactions with forged documents from HABC Bank, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Bank of America, and the Alaska Permanent Fund. On January 15, 2008, he was also found in possession of 10 purported State of Alaska ID cards, not in his name.
Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Schroder, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence for Freriks of 17 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. The maxim total sentence for Drake is 20 years in prison, a fine of $1 million, or both.
A fourth indictment charges that on or about April 3, 2010, Donny D. Pitka, 35, of Northway, Alaska, possessed a .45 caliber pistol and assorted ammunition, after having been convicted in 2007 of assault in the third degree. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentences imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendants.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.