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LAS VEGAS, Nev.—The British citizen who was arrested for attempting to seize the firearm of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer at a Donald Trump rally in June 2016, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
“The event’s security is a priority for the safety of the speaker, all attendees and law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We will continue working together with all our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of all Nevada citizens and visitors.”
Michael Steven Sandford, 20, of England, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan. Sandford pleaded guilty on Sept. 13, 2016, to one count of illegal alien in possession of a firearm and one count of impeding and disrupting the orderly conduct of government business and official functions.
On June 17, 2016, Sandford, who was unlawfully in the United States because he had overstayed his tourist visa that expired on Aug. 30, 2015, went to a gun range in Las Vegas and took shooting lessons using a rented Glock 9 millimeter handgun. The following day, on June 18, Sandford entered a political rally event for Donald Trump at the Mystere Theatre in the Treasure Island Casino. The entrance to the event was clearly marked with posters designating the grounds as restricted and under the protection of the U.S. Secret Service. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers were also present at the rally to assist with security. Inside the rally, Sandford approached a uniformed Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer and asked to obtain Trump’s autograph. When the officer gave his verbal reply, Sandford, using both hands, grabbed the officer’s Glock 9 millimeter handgun and attempted to pull it from the holster. Sandford was immediately arrested and removed from the rally. Sandford’s conduct was disorderly and disruptive and required the U.S. Secret Service, other law enforcement, and security personnel to respond to the threat posed by Sandford, whose arrest also disrupted the speech given by Trump.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared L. Grimmer.