U.S. District Court

SF gang leader, paroled after ‘head shot’, pleads guilty in gun case

A Mission district gang leader pleaded guilty in federal court today to firearms possession – having been found with multiple weapons only months after being released from a prison term he received for shooting a victim in the head after a ballpark argument.

Nicholas Addleman, 36, was arrested in October 2022 by SFPD officers in the Inner Sunset who knew he was on parole and that he had a warrantless search condition authorizing them to look for contraband.

They found two semi-automatic pistols – .40 caliber Glock 23 and a 9mm Glock 43 – in a hidden compartment under the central console of Addleman’s Ford F150 truck. Both guns were loaded and one was equipped with an extended magazine.

Addleman admitted that the firearms were his and claimed that he was carrying them to protect himself and family members because there had been several recent shootings. His DNA was found on the grip of one of the weapons.

Federal prosecutors brought charges in November 2022. Their request to have Addleman detained before trial was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Cisneros.

“An open plea to a 922g, that’s unusual,” remarked U.S. District Judge James Donato this morning, referring to the felon in possession of a firearm statute. There was no agreement between the Government and the defense as to sentence and it has been left up to the judge himself.

Accepting the guilty plea to one count of bring a felon in possession of a firearm, Judge Donato referred the case to U.S. pretrial services officials for the preparation of a sentencing report ahead of a hearing set for January 8, 2024. He denied a defense request for an order requiring officials to prepare a full CAP (Conviction Alternatives Program) report, questioning whether the defendant was eligible in any event.

Addleman has a significant criminal record, most notably his shooting a victim in the face outside of the San Francisco Giants ballpark in 2017 after an argument.

The court was previously shown an x-ray image of a bullet lodged in the head of the victim who “miraculously” survived. Security camera footage showed Addleman dispose of the gun nearby.

Originally charged with attempted murder, Addleman was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at a vehicle and was sentenced to a notional 9 years notionally in state prison. This conviction, though, came in July 2022 meaning the time already spent by him in county jail was taken in to account and he was likely immediately released directly from San Francisco Sheriff’s Department custody.

His convictions date back to a 2005 juvenile adjudication for arson and possession of a destructive device. Prosecutors say that during his most recent five years in custody he was a “shotcaller” of the San Francisco Mission District Norteno gang. In November 2021, they say, he was placed in administrative segregation after he was suspected of having ordered the discipline of another gang member inmate.

In 2020 San Francisco supervisors approved a $2.1 million settlement for approximately 200 inmates of County Jail 4 who had experienced sewage leaks while in custody. Addleman was one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit.

He remains out of custody pending sentence.

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