Anchorage Man Sentenced on Felony in Firearms Possession Charges in Federal Court

The U.S Justice Department reported on Friday that an Anchorage man, 23-year-old Jahkeel Joseph, had been sentenced to 16 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release following a Felon in Possession of a Firearm conviction. Joseph had pleaded guilty to the charge in October of 2016.

In documents that were filed in the case, a call was placed to Anchorage police early on the morning of February 2nd, 2016, initially reported a loud “bang.” That call was followed by the same resident in the apartment complex reporting that they had now found holes from a shotgun blast in the walls of their kitchen. The caller reported that Joseph and a female were heard arguing for over an hourr before the blast.

As police were responding to the scene, they passed the suspect as he was driving away. When Joseph turned into the wrong lane, he almost collided with the patrol car. When he failed to stop at a stop sign, police turned and gave chase.

Initially, Joseph did not stop for the pursuing officer, but then pulled over into a parking lot about one mile from his apartment.

When police contacted Joseph in the vehicle, they observed a shotgun on the passenger seat beside him. Closer inspection showed that the shotgun still had the spent round in the chamber and five more rounds in the “side saddle.” As the contact progressed, field sobriety tests were initiated, police said.

During sentencing on Friday Chief U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess noted the “incredibly serious” nature of the defendant’s conduct, the U.S. Attorney said. Combined with prior history of shooting another person in the face during an altercation, resulted in the judge’s determination that 16 months in prison was appropriate. 

“He wasn’t supposed to have a gun in the first place,” said Judge Burgess. “He is making a bad choice that could have significant consequences for him and others around him.”

Judge Burgess went on to add that his sentence was intended to send a message to the defendant that he needs to “grow up.”

It was Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon that prosecuted the case against Joseph after a joint investigation by the FBI and the Anchorage Police Department.