For Immediate Release
Five-Time Felon Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of Ammunition
NIBIN Database Linked Defendant to Five Separate Shootings in Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Christopher Kofi Noble, 41, of Anchorage, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to serve 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition. Noble was linked to five separate shootings in Anchorage during a three-month period of time. 10 years in prison is the maximum sentence for this crime.
According to court documents, Noble was originally charged with five counts of felon in possession of ammunition, representing five separate events where different types of .45 caliber ammunition were used from the same firearm. The Anchorage Police Department (APD) used the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) in order to link the shell casings from the five shootings to the same firearm. The NIBIN system is a database that catalogues shell casings found at crime scenes and makes comparisons to other shell casings at other crime scenes. It allows the Anchorage Police to compare shell casings and determine if the same firearm was used on different occasions during different shootings.
The shootings where Noble possessed the firearm were an April 3, 2018, shooting where he shot at a female that owed him money; an April 18, 2018, shooting where he shot at an apartment building; a May 30, 2018, shooting where he shot at a man he had a verbal argument with; and a June 14, 2018, shooting where he handed a firearm to another man who shot and killed an individual. After a May 18, 2018, report of gunshots near the Sullivan Arena, APD found .45 caliber shell casings on a trail behind the Arena that matched the .45 caliber shell casings from the other four shootings. This type of ammunition or shell casings were found at each scene that all traced back to being shot from the same firearm.
Noble has five prior felony convictions out of Illinois, Indiana, and Alaska for crimes including assault, eluding law enforcement, and possession of cocaine. As someone convicted of a felony offense, Noble was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
“This case highlights the use of an important new technology – NIBIN,” said U.S. Attorney Schroder.
“The U.S Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners, in this case ATF and APD, will use every tool at our disposal to bring dangerous armed criminals to justice.”
“NIBIN has proven to be an invaluable tool in the fight against crime,” said Anchorage Police Captain Josh Nolder, Commander of the Detective Division. “Thanks to NIBIN, we can now link seemingly random cases to one firearm and bring the individual behind that firearm to justice.”
“ATF is committed to working with our partners across the state to protect Alaskans from violent offenders like Mr. Noble, whose contempt for law and order led to his continued criminal use of firearms, placing the community at risk,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Darek Pleasants. “Sentences like this one serve as a deterrent to others while removing a repeat violent offender from our streets.”
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Burgess noted that Noble has 28 prior criminal convictions, and had over 29 other arrests. Judge Burgess was concerned about protecting the public from the defendant due to his history of violent and assaultive behavior and the serious nature of the defendant’s conduct.
The Anchorage Police Department (APD) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Cavanaugh.
This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crime involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit ttps://www.atf.gov/firearms/nationalintegrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.