Fayetteville Felony Convict Gets Over Eight Years For Firearm Violation

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A Fayetteville felony convict was given more than eight years in prison for a firearm violation, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Conner Eldridge.

James VanValkenberg, 22, was sentenced to 100 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after being convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, the release states.

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.”

On Nov. 5, 2014, VanValkenberg was involved in a vehicle collision and ran from police when they arrived, Eldridge said. After being tased twice, he was taken into custody. He had a Beretta .25 caliber pistol in his possession at the time of his arrest, the release states.

On Feb. 4, he pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Eldridge.

VanValkenberg has five prior felony convictions, and felons are prohibited from possessing firearms, according to the release.