Anchorage Man Sentenced for Illegal Possession of Gun
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Tony Lavea Tueipi, 42, resident of Anchorage, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to 21 months in prison, followed by a three-year term of supervised release, for illegally possessing a gun with an obliterated serial number. As a result of his conviction, Tueipi, who is a native of Western Samoa, will be subject to deportation.
According to the plea agreement filed in this case, on Nov. 10, 2016, Anchorage Police Department (APD) received a call that gunshots had been fired in a trailer park on Chugach Way. One of the shots went through the wall of a neighboring trailer. When APD arrived at the scene, they found the Tueipi outside of his trailer. On the ground near the Tueipi were six spent shell casings. Anchorage Police approached Tueipi and noticed the butt end of a handgun in his front jacket pocket. Inside the gun was a fully loaded magazine.
This was not the first time Tueipi had illegally possessed a gun. Prior to Nov.10, 2016, Tueipi knowingly possessed a gun with an obliterated serial number. Possession of a gun with a serial number that has been removed, obliterated, or altered is illegal under federal law.
At sentencing, Judge Gleason noted that the sentence was based on numerous factors, including the threat posed by the defendant’s conduct, and the deterrent value of a 21-month sentence. Judge Gleason stated that the defendant used his gun in a “manner that presented an extreme risk…to the person that resided in the neighboring home.” According to Judge Gleason, the 21-month sentence would allow the defendant to “convey to others [he might be in jail with]” the serious penalties associated with the illegal possession of firearms, and the extreme danger that can result from the reckless use of such firearms.
The case was the product of an investigation by the Anchorage Police Department (APD), working together with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon prosecuted the case.