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Press Release

Washington State Felon Convicted Of Unlawful Possession Of An Assault Rifle And Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

OAKLAND – James David Allen, II, was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition by a federal jury, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. The verdict follows a three-day jury trial before Honorable Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., U.S. District Court Judge.

Evidence at trial showed that Allen, 37, of Everett, Washington, had been previously convicted of a felony and was found by Pinole Police Department officers asleep in a reported stolen vehicle in a residential neighborhood in Pinole, Calif.  Allen told the officers he was on his way from Washington State to San Francisco, Calif.  A search of the vehicle revealed a loaded AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. The rifle was immediately accessible to the driver’s hand having been pointed barrel down with the rear stock leaning against the front edge of the passenger seat.  The weapon was equipped with a loaded, high-capacity 30-round magazine.  Upon taking possession of the rifle, the arresting officers found a live round chambered and the fire control switch set to “fire.”   A second loaded, high-capacity 30-round magazine was taped to the first magazine; the second magazine was positioned opposite so that the shooter could drop the first magazine from the rifle and easily flip it over to insert the other loaded magazine.  In addition, a third loaded, high-capacity magazine was found in the trunk of the vehicle. 

Additional evidence at trial demonstrated that the rifle had hand-drawn markings on the rifle, including Allen’s initials (JDAII) and his alias.  The arresting officers found a total of 79 rounds of 5.56 millimeter NATO caliber ammunition that matched the barrel of the rifle.  Evidence submitted at trial included Allen’s statement when being transported to the Martinez Detention Facility that he wished the officers had done a traffic stop instead, because he would have “shot it out” with them.  

A federal grand jury indicted Allen on July 23, 2020, charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1).  Allen was convicted of the offense in November 2020; however, the original conviction was vacated on appeal after the Court of Appeals concluded the COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions on public access to the courtroom during his trial violated federal constitutional guarantees to a public trial.

Judge Gilliam scheduled Allen’s sentencing hearing for March 1, 2023.  The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) is 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Noah Stern and Kelly Volkar are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lance Libatique.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI and Pinole Police Department.

Updated December 12, 2022