DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Alaska

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Bryan Schroder
, United States Attorney
Contact: Chloe Martin

Anchorage Man Charged for Illegal Possession of Firearm in Connection with Stolen Vehicle Investigation

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Yako Miska Andrew, 28, of Anchorage, has been charged for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The charge is a result of last week’s undercover "stolen vehicle sweep" conducted by APD, with the assistance of other state and federal law enforcement agencies.

According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 3, 2018, APD officers identified two suspected stolen vehicles located in a parking lot on 5th Avenue in Anchorage. While attempting to contact the occupants of the vehicles, an individual later identified as Yako Andrew, immediately fled on foot from one of the vehicles and was seen with a pistol in his hand. During the foot pursuit, Andrew discarded the pistol and was apprehended by APD officers at the scene. The recovered firearm was a Glock semi-automatic pistol. When interviewed by law enforcement, Andrew stated that he found the firearm and that it had been in his possession for approximately four days.

If Andrew is convicted, the crime of felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Andrew has two previous felony convictions with the State of Alaska, including one for Vehicle Theft, and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The Anchorage Police Department (APD), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation leading to the charges in this case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Cavanaugh.

This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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