COEUR D’ALENE – Joseph Louis James, 37, of Worley, Idaho, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 46 months in federal prison for unlawful possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced today. Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also ordered James to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence. James pleaded guilty to the charge on June 10, 2020.
According to court records, on March 6, 2020, a Coeur d’Alene Tribal police officer attempted to pull over the vehicle James was in for a traffic violation. Instead of pulling over, the vehicle sped up and led the officer on a high-speed chase. During the chase, multiple gunshots came from the passenger side of the vehicle towards the pursing officer’s vehicle. Neither the officer nor his vehicle were struck. Due to safety concerns, the officer ended the pursuit. Later, officers were able to locate the vehicle, James, and others involved in the incident in Spokane, Washington. During James’ arrest, officers located the firearm that was used during the police pursuit. During his interview, James admitted to possessing the firearm prior to the car chase. James is prohibited from possessing firearms due to multiple prior felony convictions.
This case was investigated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Benewah County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Police, and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime
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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.