Two Anchorage Women Charged with Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition Following Crime Spree
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Zayha Marie Meehan, 39, and Sarah Hall-Wright, 30, both of Anchorage, have been charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition following a crime spree of shootings and robberies spanning several months.
According to the charging documents, on Sept. 21, 2019, inside their shared Anchorage residence, Meehan and Hall-Wright allegedly robbed two individuals at gunpoint. Specifically, it is alleged that Meehan and Hall-Wright met with the two individuals at Tesoro around 2:30 a.m., and invited them back to their residence. While at the residence, it is alleged that Hall-Wright became upset with one of the individuals for disrespecting Meehan. Both Meehan and Hall-Wright allegedly pulled out separate firearms and stuck them to the back of each individual’s head, demanding they empty their pockets. After robbing them, it is alleged that Meehan and Hall-Wright stood the two individuals up while still pointing firearms at their heads, walked them outside to their car, and told them to leave. Meehan and Hall-Wright were subsequently arrested and a search of their residence revealed several rounds of 9mm ammunition.
During another incident on April 1, 2020, APD officers responded to a report regarding a gunshot fired outside of Meehan’s residence. The responding officers received further information that Meehan was observed and photographed holding a pistol, while arguing with two other individuals outside. A search of Meehan’s residence revealed two handguns, one of which was stolen. Meehan was subsequently arrested on an outstanding warrant.
The charging documents allege four other incidents of misconduct involving weapons, and two other incidents of armed robbery that either Meehan or Hall-Wright were involved in, spanning from August 2019 to April 2020. Meehan has two prior felony convictions for crimes involving assault and attempted robbery, and Hall-Wright has two prior felony conviction for theft, which prohibited them from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
If convicted, Meehan and Hall-Wright each face a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison. 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) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation leading to the charges in this case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Schroeder of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska.
This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crime involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The charges in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated June 19, 2020