DEBRA W. YANG
United States Attorney
Central District of California
Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
February 11, 2005
INLAND EMPIRE MAN CONVICTED OF IMPERSONATING
FEDERAL AGENT IN ATTEMPT TO CARRY GUN ON AIRPLANE
A Rancho Cucamonga attorney has been convicted on three federal charges related to two incidents in which he posed as a federal agent in an attempt to bring a gun on a plane and to obtain government-rate plane tickets for his family.
James Davis, 51, was found guilty Thursday afternoon of carrying a weapon on an aircraft, false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration and impersonating a federal officer in an attempt to obtain the airline tickets. A federal jury in Los Angeles that heard about two days of testimony deliberated for approximately one hour before convicting Davis.
The evidence at trial showed that on June 28, 2002, Davis attempted to board an airplane at Ontario International Airport with a concealed loaded handgun. Prior to boarding the plane, Davis filled out and signed a "Notice to Armed Individuals" form in which he falsely represented that he was authorized by the United States Customs Service to fly armed and that he met all the FAA regulations in order to fly armed. After telling the crew that he was an "air marshal," a suspicious pilot questioned Davis, who eventually produced identification issued by the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer agency whose members are not law enforcement officers.
On April 5, 2003, Davis falsely pretended to be a Homeland Security employee in order to purchase airline tickets from Southwest Airlines at a discounted federal government rate. Before being arrested at John Wayne Airport, Davis claimed to work for the Department of Homeland Security and offered to pay with a check purportedly from the "U.S. Homeland Security Center."
Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16 by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner. At sentencing, Davis faces a maximum possible penalty of 18 years in federal prison.
The case involving Davis's impersonation of federal officers was the result of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, and the IRS Office of Inspector General.
Davis is also scheduled to go on trial on April 26 on tax-related charges. In conjunction with the case that resulted in this week's convictions, Davis was indicted last year on charges of tax evasion, filing a false statement in a loan application and witness tampering. According to this second indictment, between 1999 and 2001, Davis earned more than $1 million in taxable income from his law practice, James Davis and Associates, and owed more than $360,000 in taxes to the IRS. However, Davis failed to file an income tax return for any of those years, and he failed to pay any taxes. Davis attempted to conceal his income from the IRS by submitting false information to his accountants, providing false information to IRS investigators and improperly characterizing income from his law practice.
After special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation Division executed search warrants on Davis's residence and business on July 16, 2002, Davis allegedly sent threatening letters to various individuals who had information relevant to the IRS's investigation. Davis also threatened to file criminal reports against these individuals naming them as "suspects" and created a website offering a "$10,000 reward for the arrest and conviction" of these individuals.
Release No. 05-028
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