Dustin Vaughn Dean Laster made an initial appearance today in federal court on a criminal complaint for being a felon in possession of ammunition, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. Laster made his initial appearance in federal court today before Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson.
According to the complaint, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office deputies saw Laster, 30, of El Sobrante, California, sitting in the driver’s seat of a car near Hilltop Park in Richmond, California on May 15, 2020, along with another individual in the passenger seat. As the deputies drove past, Laster, whom they knew to be on parole for having previous felony convictions, got out of the car and started walking away from them into Hilltop Park. Deputies stopped Laster in the park, and then searched his vehicle pursuant to terms of his parole. During the search, deputies found a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol on the floorboard of the front driver’s seat near where Laster had been sitting. The pistol was loaded with a 22-round extended magazine that contained twenty live rounds of ammunition.
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are mere allegations. As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Laster is currently being held at Santa Rita Jail. Laster’s next scheduled appearance is tomorrow, August 4, 2020, at 10:30 for a status conference hearing before the Honorable Thomas S. Hixson, U.S. Magistrate Judge.
Noah Stern is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kay E. Konopaske. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.