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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 27, 2020

Fairfield Man Sentenced for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Antonio Tawan Bankhead, 32, of Fairfield, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley to three years and 10 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

Bankhead 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 to 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, climbing over a fence onto a baseball field. After a pursuit by officers and a police dog, 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 the 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 was 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 prosecuted the case.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 
2:19-cr-207 TLN
Updated August 28, 2020