U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Washington
For Immediate Release
December 4, 2009
Jenny A. Durkan, United States Attorney
Emily Langlie, Public Information Officer
Phone: (206) 553-4110
Federal Way Felon Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison For Drug and Gun Crimes
GARY DELAND HARRIS, 30, of Federal Way, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 9 years in prison and five years of supervised release for Distribution of Oxycodone, Possession of Oxycodone with Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. HARRIS was arrested June 27, 2008, following a series of drug purchases involving a confidential informant. When HARRIS’ residence was searched officers found two guns, cash, scales and other drug related paraphernalia. At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told him, “There are serious incidents in your background.... as recently as 2006, you were threatening to kill law enforcement officers.”
According to records filed in the case, a confidential informant working with law enforcement set up a series of drug deals with HARRIS in May and June 2008. On three separate occasions, the informant purchased oxycontin pills from HARRIS. At least one of the transactions was recorded on audio tape. On June 27, 2008, law enforcement executed a search warrant at HARRIS’ Federal Way residence. Officers found two Glock 9 mm handguns as well as ammunition and cash. HARRIS had previously been convicted of six felonies including three in King County, Washington: Delivery of Cocaine (2002), Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver (1996), and Attempted Robbery (1996).
Asking Chief Judge Lasnik to impose the agreed upon sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo wrote to the court, “Harris has consistently and repeatedly disobeyed orders of the court, and disregarded the law, by continuing to sell drugs and possess firearms. His use of drugs and his possession of firearms is of great concern due to the fact that he has proven to be prone to violence. As evidenced by the violent episodes in his criminal past, his anger and violence has been directed at girlfriends, complete strangers, and members of law enforcement.”
HARRIS was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level -- in this case, in King and Pierce Counties -- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Pierce County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo. Mr. Colasurdo is a Deputy King County Prosecutor, specially designated to prosecute gun and drug cases in federal court.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.