ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The man charged with firing a gun at the Black Angus Inn in August now faces federal charges for the act, according to a new criminal complaint.
An arrest warrant was initially issued for 37-year-old Ernest "Flex" Jacobsson on Aug. 4, after the suspect allegedly fired two guns into a Black Angus Inn room with people inside. According to Anchorage police, Jacobsson was later arrested on Oct. 28, after an officer recognized his vehicle.
Days later, on Nov. 8, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska filed the federal complaint against him.
According to the document, at the time of the shooting, APD officers recovered 16 empty shell casings from the area which Jacobsson was reportedly observed to be firing two pistols. Then, using this evidence, an AST special agent conducted a firearms interstate nexus determination. Ultimately, the agent determined that "if they [shell casings] were received and/or possessed in the State of Alaska, then they had to have traveled in, and affected, interstate commerce."
Moreover, Title 18 of the United States Code deems it unlawful "for any person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year... to possess... any firearm or ammunition... which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce."
These federal charges come after Alaska announced its new multi-agency law enforcement initiative to reduce violent crime in Alaska. According to the initiative, one major goal is to bring tougher federal charges against violent offenders in Alaska.
“Often our federal statutes in violent crime cases and gun cases allow for stricter penalties," said acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder, during an October press conference. "So we'll work quickly with the state to make a determination on where those cases ought to go and pick them up federally if it's appropriate."
At the time of his arrest, Jacobsson reportedly had five outstanding warrants, including assault in the second-degree and misconduct involving a weapon in both the second-degree and third-degree.
“A lot of the shootings are done by a limited group of people," Schroder said. "So if you can identify those people, investigate them and get them off the streets, you really get more bang for your buck in trying to fight violent crime in the city."
Similarly, federal charges were brought up against two suspects accused of robbing Anchorage coffee stands at gunpoint. The charges allege that the suspects interfered with state commerce, when stolen coffee beans – imported from outside of Alaska – were located within the suspects' vehicle.