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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ketchikan Man convicted in Federal Court of possessing a firearm after having been committed to a mental institution

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that yesterday in Juneau,  a Ketchikan resident was found guilty in a bench trial of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

James A. Mavromatis, 39, of Ketchikan, Alaska, was tried by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess in Juneau, Alaska.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that on June 30, 2013, James A. Mavromatis was contact by a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer at the Last Chance Campground located in Ketchikan, Alaska.  During that contact, Mavromatis was found to be in possession of a fully loaded Czechoslovakian made .40 caliber, semi-automatic handgun.  A records check of the defendant failed to reveal at the time that the defendant was a person prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Later that evening, the officer was advised that the initial information they received was in error and that Mavromatis was actually a prohibited person.

The next day, the officer re-contacted Mavromatis at his campsite and the above firearm was recovered and turned over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for further investigation.  The investigation revealed that there was a prior court order that Mavromatis be committed to a mental institution on December 23, 2003, and again on November 2, 2009.  Under federal law, persons who have been previously committed to a mental institution are prohibited from the possession of firearms.

Judge Burgess scheduled Mavromatis’ sentencing for January 30, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. in Juneau.  The law provides for a sentence up to 10 years, a fine of $250,000 and a mandatory minimum of 3 years of supervised release.

            Ms. Loeffler commended the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for the investigation leading to the prosecution of Mavromatis.
Updated January 29, 2015