Fairfield Man Convicted Twice in Six Years for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Fairfield man pleaded guilty Thursday to being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
Antonio Tawan Bankhead, 32, was convicted of the same crime in Sacramento federal court in 2015. He violated his federal probation in that case when he committed this new offense.
According to court documents, on the evening of Oct. 11, 2019, police responded to the area of Laurel Creek Park for a report of a potential robbery involving three individuals, one of whom had a gun. As police arrived, Bankhead ignored commands to stop and began to walk away. As more police arrived and tried to cut off his path, Bankhead changed direction and started to sprint. After a pursuit by officers and a K9, Bankhead was caught in the bushes of a house across from the park, and a gun and phone he had been carrying were found on a baseball field, which was fenced in and closed to the public. The gun, a Glock Model 19 9 mm pistol, had a 30-round extended magazine, and was loaded with 30 live 9 mm rounds and one round in the chamber. Bankhead cannot lawfully possess firearms or ammunition because he has previously been convicted of three felony offenses.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Fairfield Police Department with assistance from the FBI’s Solano County Violent Crimes Task Force and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher S. Hales is prosecuting the case.
Bankhead is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Aug. 27. Bankhead faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Bankhead also faces an additional maximum of two years for violating his federal probation from his 2015 conviction. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see www.justice.gov/projectguardian.