Five-Time Felon Found Guilty for Illegal Possession of Firearm in Connection with December 2016 Gunfight
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Antoni Peralta, 33, of Anchorage, was found guilty on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, after a three-day federal jury trial. The jury found Peralta guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and associated ammunition in connection with the December 2016 gunfight on Donna Road in Anchorage.
According to evidence presented at trial, on the evening of Dec. 16, 2016, Peralta had a confrontation with a man in an Anchorage bar. Peralta then got into his vehicle and left the bar, turning onto Donna Road, out of suspicion that the man had followed him. He saw a black SUV and a white SUV, and gunshots rang out down the residential street. Peralta reached for his Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol and Federal .40 caliber ammunition and shot at the SUVs. Peralta, injured by gunfire, crawled from his vehicle to the steps of a nearby home while the SUVs left the area.
Law enforcement officers arrived to investigate the shooting and approached Peralta who was still at the steps of a nearby home. He required medical treatment and was hospitalized. During a search of Peralta’s bullet-riddled vehicle, police found a pistol with a live round and a magazine with additional ammunition.
Peralta has five prior convictions within the state of Alaska for crimes including robbery, vehicle theft, felon in possession of a firearm, and failure to stop at the direction of a police officer. As someone previously convicted of a felony offense, Peralta was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
As part of his 2005 robbery conviction, Peralta was involved in a Dimond Center mall shooting that led to the death of another individual. Specifically, in efforts to avoid police contact after the shooting, Peralta hid out in a home in Wasilla for days. After law enforcement officers found the hideout, Peralta and eight other people fled the home and packed into an SUV. Law enforcement officers persuaded the driver to stop the vehicle. As the driver opened the driver’s side door, Peralta pushed the driver out of the car and jumped into the driver’s seat. Peralta led law enforcement on a 90-mile-per-hour chase for 21 miles. After law enforcement officers deployed spike strips, Peralta drove the SUV until the tires shredded from the rims and finally stopped. Alaska State Troopers found Peralta in the driver’s seat and six additional passengers inside, including one infant.
As a result of Peralta’s most recent federal conviction, he faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The Anchorage Police Department (APD), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, leading to the successful prosecution of this case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Vandergaw and Allison O’Leary.