Anchorage man sentenced 110 months in federal prison for gun charges
An Anchorage man is headed to federal prison for gun charges dating back to 2017, U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska Bryan Schroder said Thursday.
Tony Tuaato, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to serve 110 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Tuaato's charges stem from a high-speed pursuit where he shot at Anchorage Police officers from the passenger seat of a stolen vehicle.
Court documents say in Sept. 2017, Tuaato was at a Mountain View residence with Alex Lemana and another person. Lemana arrived at the residence in a stolen Chevrolet Suburban. The three of them knew of police presence in the area and decided to move the stolen SUV away from the home, the release said.
Apart from Tuaato's illegal sawed-off shotgun, Lemana also brought a pistol.
An APD patrol car followed Lemana, Tuaato and the other passenger as they left the area, leading to a high-speed chase involving another police car. The Suburban rammed one APD vehicle, which deployed the car's airbags and caused both patrol cars to stop.
Lemana drove the damaged Suburban through Mountain View, reaching 80 mph as he and Tuaato fired shots at the police behind them. The driver and both passengers abandoned the vehicle near 9th Avenue and L Street in Downtown Anchorage and ran from the scene.
Police caught Lemana and the third passenger nearby and took them into custody. According to the release, Tuaato fled and hid from officers.
Police did not immediately know Tuaato's identity, but were able to find him after finding his sawed-off shotgun on the front passenger side of the Suburban and investigating a palm print.
At his sentencing, the court noted Tuaato posed a risk to the community with his past offenses related to stolen vehicles, firearms and methamphetamine, the Alaska U.S. Attorney said.
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