A former San Francisco sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 14 months in prison after having a relationship with an inmate and being convicted of fraud for lying about her department-issued firearm being stolen.
April Myres, 55, was sentenced by a federal judge Tuesday following an eight-day trial this summer in which prosecutors argued that she filed an insurance claim for $67,000 to hide her “corrupt conduct.”
Myers told the insurance company that the gun and other items had been stolen from her home during a burglary, when prosecutors say the weapon was actually in the possession of her ex-boyfriend — the former inmate.
“She wanted money, she wanted to keep her job, and she did not want to get caught,” prosecutors wrote in a filing seeking a two-year sentence for Myres earlier this month. “She allowed her service firearm to remain on the streets of the Bay Area held by a dangerous felon for nearly a year while she sought material gain.”
The trouble started when Myres began seeing the inmate, Antoine Fowler, while he was housed at County Jail before his release in January 2016, according to court records.
Federal authorities caught wind of the relationship through another inmate and followed Fowler to Myres’ home when he was released from County Jail, prosecutors alleged.
Two months later in March 2016, Myres reported to police that a number of items including her department-issued pistol, radio and ballistic vest were stolen from her home.
She also reported the items stolen to an insurance company in May 2016, court records show.
Nearly a year later in February 2017, the FBI arrested both Myres and Fowler and found the duty pistol on Fowler.
Myres was indicted for mail fraud and wire fraud as well as misprision of a felony for allegedly hiding from authorities that Fowler illegally had the gun.
In June, a jury found her guilty of the first two charges but acquitted her of the third.
Her attorneys maintained that Myers’ home actually was burglarized and asked a judge to allow Myers to serve a sentence outside of prison in a filing earlier this month.
Defense attorneys Michael Shepard and Jamie Lang described Myres in court records as “a hard-working single mother, dedicated to her family and her community, who at a very stressful time of her life mistakenly entered into a relationship that triggered the nightmarish chain of events.”
“Myres agrees that her relationship with Antoine Fowler was a horrible misjudgment that impacted her and others, but it should not be a basis for punishment,” the attorneys wrote. “She has already paid a heavy price for it: as a result of this misjudgment, she lost her job and her profession, her son was nearly shot, and many of her hard earned possessions were taken in a burglary.”
Myers has been ordered to surrender to authorities by the end of January 2020.
Fowler pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in May and has not been sentenced.