12 February 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A Rancho Cucamonga attorney has been convicted on three federal charges related to
two incidents in which he posed as a federal agent in an attempt to bring a gun on
a plane and to obtain government-rate plane tickets for his family.
James Davis, 51, was found guilty Thursday afternoon of carrying a weapon on an
aircraft, false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration and impersonating
a federal officer in an attempt to obtain the airline tickets. A federal jury in
Los Angeles that heard about two days of testimony deliberated for approximately
one hour before convicting Davis.
The evidence at trial showed that on June 28, 2002, Davis attempted to board an
airplane at Ontario International Airport with a concealed loaded handgun. Prior to
boarding the plane, Davis filled out and signed a “Notice to Armed Individuals”
form in which he falsely represented that he was authorized by the United States
Customs Service to fly armed and that he met all the FAA regulations in order to
fly armed. After telling the crew that he was an “air marshal,” a suspicious pilot
questioned Davis, who eventually produced identification issued by the Civil Air
Patrol, a volunteer agency whose members are not law enforcement officers.
On April 5, 2003, Davis falsely pretended to be a Homeland Security employee in
order to purchase airline tickets from Southwest Airlines at a discounted federal
government rate. Before being arrested at John Wayne Airport, Davis claimed to work
for the Department of Homeland Security and offered to pay with a check purportedly
from the “U.S. Homeland Security Center.”
Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16 by United States District Judge R.
Gary Klausner. At sentencing, Davis faces a maximum possible penalty of 18 years in
The case involving Davis’s impersonation of federal officers was the result of an
investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General,
and the IRS Office of Inspector General.
Davis is also scheduled to go on trial on April 26 on tax-related charges. In
conjunction with the case that resulted in this week’s convictions, Davis was
indicted last year on charges of tax evasion, filing a false statement in a loan
application and witness tampering. According to this second indictment, between
1999 and 2001, Davis earned more than $1 million in taxable income from his law
practice, James Davis and Associates, and owed more than $360,000 in taxes to the
However, Davis failed to file an income tax return for any of those years, and
he failed to pay any taxes. Davis attempted to conceal his income from the IRS by
submitting false information to his accountants, providing false information to IRS
investigators and improperly characterizing income from his law practice.
After special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation Division executed search
warrants on Davis’s residence and business on July 16, 2002, Davis allegedly sent
threatening letters to various individuals who had information relevant to the
Davis also threatened to file criminal reports against these
individuals naming them as “suspects” and created a website offering a “$10,000
reward for the arrest and conviction” of these individuals.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Brian Hershman
Assistant United States Attorney Pegeen Rhyne
Release No. 05-028