ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Eleven people have been charged with federal offenses in connection with a number of local car thefts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Of the 11, ten individuals have been charged with firearms possession offenses. One person faces federal carjacking charges.
“With the DA's Office and APD, we have been working on these cases,” said U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroeder. “Our partners have worked tirelessly to serve and protect.
“Every time we charge, there’s a certain amount of investigation that has to be done,” he said. “I expect nothing less but full commitment to try and solve the crime problem in Alaska.”
Those charged are all men and range in age from 21 to 47 years old: Jesse Contreras, 24; Christopher Curtin, 30; Timothy Fyffe, 35; Jarsis Howard, 40; Cody Iverson, 23; Poly Lomu, 21; Todd Margerum, 47; Antoni Peralta, 31; Navy Tauinaola, 35; and Tony Tuaato, 23, are each being charged with possession of a firearm. Roy Naughton, 39, of Anchorage, was indicted in December 2017 on federal carjacking charges.
The 10 facing firearms charges each face a maximum sentence of up to ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised released. The federal carjacking charge comes with a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.
“Obviously, there’s been an increase in vehicle theft, and we are constantly looking at what we can do to address crime theft,” said APD Chief Justin Doll. “This is kind of a payoff of the last few years. We’re able to be proactive.”
Federal charges are prosecuted separately from those of the state, and any state-level offenses will be pursued as separate cases.
The charges come at the same time as an identified rise in car thefts across Anchorage - one was even well-documented by a KTUU reporter - and following a record 3,148 car thefts in a single year, over the course of 2017.