LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County man was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison for firing BB guns at a Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena nearly a dozen times and for illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition.
Richard Royden Chamberlin, 53, who currently resides in Ontario, but previously maintained a residence in Altadena, was sentenced by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, who also ordered him to pay $42,663 in restitution.
At today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Fitzgerald described Chamberlin’s year-long string of BB gun attacks as a “reign of terror” and that Chamberlin had acted “in a calculated and cruel way” against Planned Parenthood, its staff, and patients.
Chamberlin pleaded guilty in December 2022 to one count of violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Chamberlin admitted in his plea agreement to driving past the Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena and firing his BB gun at the clinic on at least 11 occasions between June 2020 and May 2021. Chamberlin admitted that he intentionally conducted the attacks to intimidate and interfere with the clinic, its doctors, staff, and patients specifically because the clinic was providing reproductive health services, including services related to the termination of pregnancies.
Beginning on June 27, 2020, Chamberlin’s attacks involved him firing BB pellets through the window of his car. The attacks caused physical damage to the clinic, including shattered windows, and served to intimidate the staff of the clinic.
On March 29, 2021, an employee of the clinic heard an object hit her office window, which caused her to fear for her physical safety and interfered with the performance of her job duties. The next day, at 8:30 a.m. while the clinic was open and receiving patients, Chamberlin again drove by and fired his BB gun at the front entrance. During this attack, a patient’s support companion was seated on the front porch and was nearly hit when the BB gun pellets peppered the banners directly in front of where she was seated. No one was injured in any of the shootings.
On May 7, 2021, the Pasadena Police Department stopped Chamberlin while he was driving away from the clinic following yet another BB gun attack. At this time, Chamberlin possessed eight BB guns, including BB guns designed to look like assault rifles. On the front passenger seat of his vehicle, police found a backpack containing a .22-caliber pistol, which was loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition. In his plea agreement, Chamberlin admitted that he possessed this firearm and ammunition after being previously convicted in Arizona in 2012 of a felony offense of attempted transportation of a narcotic drug for sale.
Following his May 7, 2021, arrest, Chamberlin attempted to dispose of his remaining firearms by selling four firearms to a local consignment store and transferring ownership of eight additional firearms to a neighbor. During a subsequent search of his home, authorities recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition, gun powder, a dozen additional BB guns, a black cylinder resembling a suppressor, a Polymer 80 gun-making kit, various gun parts and multiple documents identifying and referring to Planned Parenthood.
“These victims have all been deeply impacted by [Chamberlin’s] conduct,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “The clinic’s employees still experience daily anxiety and fear, and they have an overwhelming sense of being unsafe in their work environment.”
The FBI and the Pasadena Police Department conducted the investigation in this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Frances S. Lewis of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section prosecuted this case.
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