In The News


Posted by Kenneth H. WineFeb 02, 20200 Comments

SAN FRANCISCO — An Oakland resident was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Tuesday, for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

But it wasn't just any firearm that got 34-year-old Antoine Fowler into legal trouble; it was a gun that belonged to his then-girlfriend, former San Francisco sheriff's Deputy April Myres, who falsely reported the gun stolen and gave it to Fowler, according to the FBI.

Fowler's multi-year prison term is roughly half of what Myres received for giving him the gun and making fraudulent insurance claims to the tune of more than $64,000. Authorities said Fowler had an “intimate relationship” with Myres, 54, while she worked as a guard at the San Francisco Jail, and while Fowler was serving a jail sentence for a conviction on assault-weapons charges.

Fowler's attorney wrote that Myres' illegal conduct went far beyond what she was charged with, alleging in court filings that Myres took advantage of Fowler and threatened to put him in physical danger by identifying him as an informant if he didn't do her bidding.

“During the 6 years he was incarcerated, Mr. Fowler spent 23 hours a day in a small cell intended for short duration incarceration. He was obviously vulnerable and at the mercy of his jailers,” Fowler's attorney, Kenneth Wine, wrote in a sentencing memo.

“Myres seduced Mr. Fowler with money, marijuana, food, dreams of vacations, and offers to provide him a weapon to protect himself when he was released,” Wine added. “She manipulated him with confidential police intelligence reports identifying him as a ‘snitch' whose life was constantly in danger. (Fowler) deserves no blame for what Deputy Myres did to him.”

Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that while the relationship was relevant to the case, it didn't justify leniency. Fowler has arrests going back to his teen years, two assistant U.S. Attorneys wrote in a sentencing memo.

“The public is fortunate that Mr. Fowler did not seriously injure or kill someone while he was in possession of Deputy Myres' pistol for nearly a year,” the prosecution sentencing memo says. “The public should be protected against Mr. Fowler acquiring yet another firearm and committing yet another violent offense.”

When Fowler was released, Myres gave him the gun and reported that it had been stolen during a burglary. But she didn't stop there. Myres listed the gun, a bulletproof vest and other law enforcement equipment — along with cash, a laptop computer, several designer purses and additional items — on a $64,410 insurance claim, authorities said in court records.

When Fowler's and Myres' relationship was eventually discovered, Myres lost her job, and both she and Fowler were charged with federal crimes. Myres was later sentenced to 14 months in prison last November, court records show.

Her service weapon was one of 944 police guns the Bay Area News Group had reported last year were stolen from officers or couldn't be accounted for from 2010 to 2016.