Fayetteville Man Sentenced to 8+ Years for Felon in Possession of Firearm Violation

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James VanValkenberg, 22, of Fayetteville_1853301371938622399
FAYETTEVILLE, AR – James VanValkenberg, 22, of Fayetteville has been sentenced to 100 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced on Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This defendant, a convicted felon, was in possession of a loaded handgun and fleeing from law enforcement near a busy intersection when he was taken into custody. Felons in possession of firearms pose a serious threat of harm to police officers and citizens in our communities. Our office, along with our partners in law enforcement, will continue to investigate and aggressively prosecute these types of cases in order to keep communities throughout the Western District of Arkansas safe from senseless violence.”

According to court records, on November 5, 2014, patrol officers with the Fayetteville Police Department heard a vehicle collision and went to investigate. As the officers approached the scene, they saw VanValkenberg digging around inside of his vehicle. Once VanValkenberg saw the officers, he began walking away from the scene of the accident.

Officers told VanValkenberg repeatedly to stop; however, VanValkenberg quickly fled from the officers and the accident scene. The officers pursued VanValkenberg on foot, and after tasing him twice, were able to catch and take him into custody. VanValkenberg was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm.

The Beretta in VanValkenberg’s possession was determined to have been manufactured outside of Arkansas. VanValkenberg has five prior felony convictions, and is prohibited from having firearms in his possession. On February 4th, VanValkenberg pleaded guilty to one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Fayetteville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney David Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.

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