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Ketchikan man guilty of possessing firearm when prohibited

Posted: October 22, 2013 - 2:45pm  |  Updated: October 23, 2013 - 12:07am

Editor's Note: Mr. Mavromatis successfully appealed this conviction. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted the appeal Oct. 28, 2014.


A Ketchikan man has been found guilty of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm after a bench trial Monday in Juneau federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska.

James A. Mavromatis, 39, was tried by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess, and he will be sentenced in January of next year.

Prosecutors said Mavromatis was contacted by a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer at the Last Chance Campground in Ketchikan in June and was found to be in possession of a loaded .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, according to a press release.

Due to an error, a records check at the time failed to reveal that Mavromatis was prohibited from possessing firearms, but he was contacted later that evening at his campsite and the gun was confiscated, the release stated.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt, who prosecuted the case, said Mavromatis was unable to possess a firearm because Mavromatis was previously committed at a mental institution in 2003 and 2009. Under federal law, people who have been committed are prohibited from possessing firearms, according to the release.

Mavromatis could be facing a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a mandatory minimum of three years supervised probation.

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler credited the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Division and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the investigating the case.

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