by MIKE HEUER
LAS VEGAS (CN) – Michael Steven Sandford, 20, of England, will serve a year in prison for his attempt on the life of President-elect Donald Trump during a June campaign rally at a Las Vegas casino.
U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan of the District of Nevada on Tuesday ordered Sandford to serve 12 months and one day in prison.
Sandford, of Dorking, Surrey, pleaded guilty on Sept. 13 to one count of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and one count of impeding and disrupting the orderly conduct of government business and official functions.
Sandford admitted he tried to seize a firearm from a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. officer during a June 18 rally for Trump at the Treasure Island Casino.
Sandford was in the United States illegally after overstaying his tourist visa, which had expired on Aug. 30, 2015, and went to a gun range in Las Vegas where he took shooting lessons using a rented Glock 9mm handgun, U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden said in a news release.
The release also details how, on June 18, Sandford entered a political rally for Trump at the Mystere Theatre in the Treasure Island Casino, which was under the protection of the U.S. Secret Service.
Once inside the rally, Sandford approached a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer and asked to obtain Trump’s autograph, according to Bogden.
As the officer replied, Bogden said Sandford used both hands to grab the officer’s Glock 9mm handgun, trying to pull it from its holster. Sandford was immediately arrested and removed from the rally.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared L. Grimmer.
Sandford has Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, but his attorney Brenda Weksler said he was competent to stand trial before he entered his guilty plea.
Sandford’s co-counsel was UK repatriation attorney Saimo Chahal, a partner with Bindmans LLP in the UK and an expert in international law, public law and human rights. Chahal also is a part-time mental health tribunal judge.