For Immediate Release
Anchorage Man Sentenced to 9 Years for Stealing 22 Guns
Defendants Fired Weapons During Police Chase and Used Stolen Vehicles in Commission of Crimes
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Anchorage man was sentenced yesterday to nine years in federal prison for stealing 22 firearms from an Anchorage gun store in 2019.
According to court documents, Muna Junior Rhode, 24, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to stealing 22 firearms from Granny’s Guns, a federally licensed firearms dealer located in Anchorage, on June
6, 2019, along with three co-conspirators.
Rhode and his co-conspirators drove a stolen Chevy Trailblazer to Wrightway Auto Carriers in Anchorage where they broke into the building and stole license plates, filing cabinets and a GMC Sierra pickup. Rhode and the three co-conspirators then stole another vehicle, drove it through the front window of Granny’s Guns, loaded 22 firearms into the back of the GMC truck and drove away. They later lit the stolen GMC Sierra pickup on fire in an effort to destroy evidence and escaped in a black SUV.
Later the same day, officers with the Anchorage Police Department tried to stop Rhode, who was driving the black SUV, and his co-defendants driving another pickup, but they fired shots into the air and fled at high speeds across Anchorage. On June 20, 2019, Rhode and two others were caught on video attempting to jump the fence of a tow yard to recover one of the stolen guns left in an impounded vehicle. All four co-conspirators were indicted in October 2020 and subsequently arrested. Rhode is also facing charges in state court.
“The blatant disregard for public safety and law enforcement, both during and after this series of violent crimes, by Rhode and his co-conspirators show they are a danger to our community and all Alaskans,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “We will continue to work closely with local, state and federal law enforcement to fight violent crime and keep our communities safe from people who endanger our neighborhoods.”
“All of the involved defendants demonstrated a complete indifference to the safety of others through their actions in their violent crime spree,” stated Police Chief Michael Kerle. “From the theft of multiple vehicles, to firing shots in public, driving erratically on our streets, and stealing multiple firearms; it is imperative they are held accountable for their behavior. Rhode’s sentencing is a big part of that. We are grateful for the efforts of all our law enforcement partners who were involved in seeing this case through.”
Co-conspirators in this case include:
- Gian Carlo Pangilinan, aka “G,” 27, pleaded guilty to stealing firearms from a licensed dealer and was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
- Kao Chiang Saelee, aka “Robbie,” 41, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal firearms from a licensed dealer and was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment.
- Hans Mikaele Wells, aka “Mika,” 26, pleaded guilty to stealing firearms and was sentenced to 9 years’ imprisonment.
The Anchorage Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Ivers prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.