San Francisco

One of San Francisco’s most prodigious gun felons back in court

A man with a prodigious track record of San Francisco gun convictions is facing trial in federal court for another firearms offense. Demarco Ransom, arrested in the Tenderloin in 2021 with a ‘ghost gun’, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Hixson.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment earlier this year in relation to the September 2021 incident. Ransom was detained near the intersection of Post and Leavenworth next to a silver Honda Accord fitted with stolen plates. A “Glock-style” 9mm pistol equipped with an extended magazine was lying in plain view inside the car.

Ransom admitted that the car was his and forensic testing, say prosecutors, showed “very strong inclusive support” for the presence of his DNA on the firearm.

Ransom is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition. This is a charge preferred by federal prosecutors when they cannot conclusively determine whether the firearm itself has been manufactured outside of California, but the ammunition unquestionably was. The weapon here is a privately-manufactured ‘ghost gun’.

Denying a defense request to release their client pending trial U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Hixson said that he was concerned about the defendant’s criminal history.

“Looking at the last decade and a half,” said the judge, “…there are a number of convictions for what are essentially the same crime as the one he is accused of now.”

“I am also concerned about the multiple parole violations.”

“The evidence is clear and convincing,” he concluded, “that the defendant is a danger to the community.”

His arrest was by SFPD gang task force officers who identified Ransom and who knew he had multiple outstanding warrants.

In 2009, 2012 and 2018 Ransom was convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm and sentenced to 16 months in prison on each occasion. The U.S. Attorney moved to prosecute Ransom for the 2021 offense only after he was arrested again in 2022.

After having originally secured bail in state court on the 2021 arrest, Ransom and a female accomplice fled from police in August 2022. They led SFPD in a car chase through the Tenderloin and Fillmore districts in which a police cruiser was rammed, other vehicles were hit, and pedestrians narrowly avoided being struck.

Spike strips were deployed to stop the car at Broadway and Polk, which then traveled another 15 blocks before coming to a halt.

Ransom and Tiara Raina Hewitt were suspected by police of being involved in a Tenderloin fencing operation. A loaded handgun and stolen items were found in their car.

Hewitt had outstanding warrants from Pacific Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, Brentwood Police Department, Placer County Sheriff’s Department and Fremont Police Department.

Ransom’s case continues.

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