More crimes involving weapons, drugs, stolen cars going to federal court
An Anchorage man accused of using a stolen truck to ram Anchorage police cars will face federal charges related to the alleged crime.
Poly Johnrobert Lomu, 22, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In September, officers said they found Lomu passed out in a stolen truck on Northern Raven Drive with a handgun in his lap. Police say when officers tried to get him to exit the truck, Lomu woke up and started crashing into the police cars.
Officers ultimately used pepper spray to get him out of the truck. They searched the truck and found pistol; Lomu also had two .45 caliber rounds of ammunition in his pockets.
Lomu has an extensive criminal history with a vehicle theft in the first-degree conviction in 2015 and a theft in the second-degree conviction in 2016.
Prosecutors said more violent crimes like this will be going to federal court. Frank Russo with the U.S. Attorney’s Office said any crime involving weapons, drugs or even cars that have crossed state lines can be tried under federal jurisdiction.
“We’re being more active in the violent crime arena and being more proactive by reaching out to APD, reaching out to the Municipality and making sure people who are the worst offenders are prosecuted federally,” Russo said.
Russo said their caseload has doubled over the past two months -- indicting up to 35 people a month.
Based on Lomu’s past, the judge decided to detain him, which means she did not set bail. Russo said that’s another advantage of trying suspects in the federal court system, which rarely has any kind of cash bond.
“The most important thing is to incapacitate folks from committing these crimes,” Russo said. “Maybe they’ll get the help they need in jail but in the meantime, we have to take them out of society so they can’t hurt members of the community.”
Lomu is expected to be indicted before a grand jury next week.