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Seattle Field Division - 2012 Releases

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Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison

December 11, 2012

BOISE — Joshua Allen Ward, 34, of Emmett, Idaho, was sentenced today to 180 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for unlawful possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Ward to forfeit the firearm. He was found guilty on August 7, 2012, after a court trial. More »

"Hot Spot" Initiative Targets Gang, Gun and Drug Crime In South King County

October 23, 2012

Thirty-three people are in jail tonight and 28 firearms are off the street as the result of a three month U.S. Department of Justice “Hot Spot” initiative in South King County. “Operation Down in the Valley” targeted gang violence, drug and gun sales in the Kent, Renton and Tukwila areas. More »

Investigation Leads to Indictment of Twenty-One People on Gun and Drug Charges

September 18, 2012

BOISE – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that a federal grand jury in Boise has indicted twenty-one individuals in thirteen separate indictments for distributing methamphetamine and possessing firearms. More »

Drug Trafficking Conspirator Receives 180-Month Sentence

August 31, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that David Terrell Tidwell was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 180 months in prison for his convictions of a drug trafficking conspiracy and possession of firearms and ammunition in furtherance of drug trafficking. More »

California Man to Serve 10 Years for Drug Trafficking and Related Gun Crime

August 28, 2012

BOISE – Stephen Na, 20, of Santa Rosa, CA, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for trafficking in cocaine and methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of those crimes, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Boise Man Sentenced to 70 Months for Gun Crimes

August 28, 2012

BOISE – Richard Gordon Laine, 25, of Boise, Idaho, was sentenced today in United States District Court to 70 months in prison for possessing unregistered, sawed-off shotguns, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Leader of BMC Gang Gets 168 Months for Racketeering

August 20, 2012

BOISE – Alfredo Castro, a/k/a "Papos," 36, was sentenced today to 168 months in federal prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Postal Worker Charged with Firerams Offenses

July 26, 2012

HONOLULU – Troy Haruki Hamura (51) of Lihue, Kauai,made his initial appearance in United States District Court today before Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi following his arrest pursuant to a criminal complaint charging him with illegally possessing a machine gun and making a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm. More »

Sandpoint Woman Admits Stealing Numerous Firearms from Ponderay Business

July 20, 2012

COEUR D'ALENE – Jennifer Stephen Dunnagan, 23, of Sandpoint, Idaho, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Coeur d'Alene to theft of firearms from a licensed dealer's inventory, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Manokotak Felon Sentenced to 59 Months in Prison for Possessing Firearm

June 28, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska — U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Manokotak man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. More »

Law Enforcement Targets Gun Crime With Federal Penalties

June 18, 2012

SEATTLE – Law enforcement leaders at the federal, state and local levels announced the expansion of an anti-violence program designed to get armed criminals off the streets and improve community safety. Under this operation those caught with illegal firearms in Seattle will face a greatly increased likelihood of federal prosecution and significant prison time. This operation marks an expansion of the existing partnership between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the King County Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with the increased emphasis on anti-violence efforts by the Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement agencies working in Seattle. More »

Grants Pass Man Found Guilty of Manufacturing Marijuana and Possessing Machine Guns and Silencers

June 12, 2012

MEDFORD, Ore. — On Friday, June 8, 2012, Jason Michael Scott Nelson, 36, of Grants Pass, Oregon, was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiracy to manufacture or distribute marijuana, manufacture of marijuana, and possession of unregistered firearms. The jury also found that Nelson’s residence at 2906 Midway Avenue, Grants Pass, Oregon was subject to criminal forfeiture because he used it to facilitate his drug crimes. The four–day trial was held in the Federal District Court in Medford, Oregon, with Judge Owen M. Panner presiding. More »

Leader of BMC Gang Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charge

June 7, 2012

BOISE – Alfredo Castro, a/k/a Papos, 36, a leader and founding member of the BMC gang, currently housed in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Boise Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Sawed–off Shotgun

June 7, 2012

BOISE — Brandon Wayne Long, 30, of Boise, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to possession of an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Boise Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Unregistered Sawed–off Shotguns

June 7, 2012

BOISE — Richard Gordon Laine, 25, of Boise, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to possession of an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Felon Who Chased and Fired Gun At Car Full of Strangers Indicted as Armed Career Criminal

June 6, 2012

A repeat offender with a history of assault and drug crimes was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Seattle for incidents in early April 2012 involving guns and explosives. SHANE STEPHEN ANELLO, 36, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by an armed career criminal, unlawful possession of ammunition by an armed career criminal and unlawful possession of a destructive device. The first two charges stem from a car chase on April 3, 2012 where ANELLO started following and then shot at a car that had stopped next to him on a freeway off-ramp. The third charge relates to the April 1, 2012, firebombing of a vehicle in Seattle. More »

California Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Firearm Charges

June 5, 2012

BOISE – Stephan Na, 20, of Santa Rosa, California, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Boise Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crime

June 5, 2012

BOISE – Richard Arnold Male, 26, of Boise, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Open Letter to All Alaska Federal Firearms Licensees

June 1, 2012

The purpose of this Open Letter is to provide guidance to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in Alaska, regarding firearms transferees whose government issued identification documents indicate a residence that is neither a street address nor a rural route and box number address. This will occur most often in rural areas of Alaska. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received questions concerning unlicensed firearms purchasers who present a State issued driver’s license or other government issued identification document that does not show a street address as their residence address. More »

Mexican National Sentenced to 18 Months for Drug Trafficking, Firearms and Immigration Violations

May 14, 2012

>BOISE – Andres Barajas-Linares, 40, a Mexican national formerly living in Meridian, Idaho, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for distributing cocaine, unlawfully possessing a firearm, and being a deported alien illegally in the United States, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Boise Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearms

May 14, 2012

>BOISE – John Gable, Jr., 63, of Boise, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in federal court to unlawful possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.. More »

ATF Accelerant Detection K–9 Retires

May 4, 2012

SEATTLE — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Kelvin N. Crenshaw announces the retirement of Captain Stephen G. Baer and his K–9 partner, Henny, from the ATF K–9 program after more than six years of service. More »

Gun Trafficker Identified as Part of the ’Hot Spot’ Initiative in White Center Sentenced to Prison

April 26, 2012

One of approximately 25 federal defendants prosecuted as part of the White Center Hot Spot initiative, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years in prison and four years of supervised release for drug distribution and gun crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. JUAN TRINIDAD MIRANDA, 26, of Seattle, is a citizen of Mexico who likely will be deported following his prison term. TRINIDAD MIRANDA pleaded guilty to three counts of being an alien in possession of a firearm and four counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. In July, August and September 2011, TRINIDAD MIRANDA repeatedly sold guns and drugs to a person working with law enforcement. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said, these are serious crimes, selling drugs and guns. More »

Six Indicted on Gun Trafficking Charges

April 18, 2012

Six Seattle area men, some with prior felony convictions, were arrested over the last 24 hours on an indictment charging them with firearm trafficking as well as being felons in possession of firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. The indictment is the result of an undercover investigation involving the Seattle Police Department Gang Unit, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). In all 25 guns were taken off the street, many of which were previously reported stolen. ANDRE M. CONERLY, 25, JOSHUA DAWSON, 20, JAMES L. HENDERSON, 22, DAUNTE R. WILLIAMS, 29, ALEXANDER J. OLIVIO-ALTHEIMER, 21, all of Seattle, and DJUAN O. GARDNER, 28, of Federal Way, Washington, will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:30 today. More »

Lakewood Man Convicted of Gun and Drug Charges as Part of White Center ’Hot Spot’ Initiative

April 12, 2012

In one of the first federal cases to go to trial from Operation Center of Attention, a federal jury deliberated four hours before convicting a Lakewood man of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. ROMAN ROSAS–MARTINEZ, 31, of Lakewood, Washington, was arrested in October 2011, as part of a federal crackdown on crime in the White Center neighborhood of King County. When sentenced on July 13, 2012 by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones, ROSAS–MARTINEZ faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison. More »

Two Large Drug Trafficking Organizations Dismantled in Coordinated Raids

March 29, 2012

In the last 48 hours more than 40 people have been arrested in Western Washington and elsewhere in two distinct drug trafficking investigations. One investigation lead by the Drug Enforcement Administration resulted in 22 arrests on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. A second investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) resulted in an additional 23 arrests today. More »

Tacoma Felon Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Human Trafficking and Illegal Gun Possession

March 27, 2012

A Tacoma man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced Monday to ten years in prison for two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of human trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. JONELLE LAJOHN BRAUN, 24, of Tacoma, Washington was arrested in March 2011, as he left a Federal Way, Washington motel. BRAUN was wanted for violating the terms of his state parole. When officers approached and told BRAUN to raise his hands, BRAUN pulled a .380 caliber semi–automatic Llama pistol from his waistband and dropped it on the floor. Further investigation revealed that BRAUN recruited a 16–year–old female to work for him as a prostitute. More »

Bethel Man Sentenced to 180 Months

March 21, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that on, Tuesday, March 20, 2012, that Freddie Abraham, a resident of Bethel, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 180 months imprisonment for his conviction of being a felon in possession firearms. The 180 month sentence will run concurrently with Abraham's conviction with the State of Alaska in 4BE-10-1317 CR, where he received a sentence of 20 years to serve for a conviction of Manslaughter. More »

Olympia Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Gun Sales

March 19, 2012

DAVID DEVENNY, 70, of Olympia, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Unlawfully Dealing in Firearms and two counts of Sale of a Firearm to a Prohibited Person, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. DEVENNY was arrested in November 2010, after selling firearms to a convicted felon and a person with a domestic violence conviction. DEVENNY knew that both purchasers were prohibited from possessing firearms because of those convictions. More »

Last Defendant Arrested in UW Horticulture Center Arson Sentenced to Prison

March 16, 2012

The last participant arrested in the 2001 arson of the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. JUSTIN SOLONDZ, 32, pleaded guilty last December to conspiracy and arson. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said, People who have deep passions about political events sometimes permit themselves to view themselves as above the law…. One of the things that bind us as a civilized people is adherence to the rule of law…. It is the only code that binds civilized people together …. You have attacked that belief and that system. More »

Three Mexican Nationals Sentenced for Drug Trafficking

March 9, 2012

POCATELLO — Three Mexican nationals were sentenced yesterday in United States District Court in Pocatello for distributing methamphetamine in Idaho, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. More »

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing a Firearm

March 5, 2012

BOISE – Arnulfo Villagomez-Franco, 38, a Mexican national formerly living in Boise, pled guilty today to counts one and two of a federal indictment charging him with deported alien found in the United States, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and forfeiture of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. More »

Felon Who Repeatedly Illegally Possessed and Sold Firearms Sentenced to Over Three Years in Prison

February 23, 2012

A convicted felon who repeatedly sold guns to a person working with law enforcement was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. IRVIN J. MORENO, 23, of Arlington, Washington pleaded guilty in November 2011, to being a felon in possession of a firearm. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly told MORENO that due to his prior conviction, MORENO is not entitled to legally possess, let alone sell, firearms. More »

Former Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Gun Sales and Tax Crime

February 23, 2012

ROY ALLOWAY, 56, of Bremerton, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to two years in prison and three years of supervised release for unlawful dealing in firearms and filing a false income tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. ALLOWAY is a former Bremerton Police Officer, who for years was assigned to the West Puget Sound Narcotics Task Force. ALLOWAY was warned twice in 2005 that his sales of guns at gun shows violated federal licensing rules. Nevertheless, ALLOWAY continued to purchase and sell guns without a federal firearms license – including nearly 600 guns purchased from Bremerton and Tacoma gun shops, and another 169 firearms purchased from a Shelton source. More »

Federal Grand Jury Indictes Mateo B. Sardoma, Jr. and Nine Other Co-Conspriators on Federal Narcotic Charges

February 16, 2012

(Hagatna, Guam), ALICIA A.G. LIMTIACO, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced the issuance of a 26–Count Indictment against Mateo B. Sardoma, Jr. for Continuing Criminal Enterprise. Mateo B. Sardoma, Jr. and nine other members of his narcotics organization were indicted on February 15, 2012, for Conspiracy to Distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride. Sardoma and two others in his organization are indicted for using, carrying and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. More »

Kobuk Man Sentenced to 46 Months

February 16, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska — United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, that Elvin Wood, a resident of Kobuk, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 46 months imprisonment for his conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Wood pled guilty pursuant to plea agreement on November 29, 2011. More »

Kent Man Indicted for Illegally Selling Gun Later Used in Chicago Area Murder

February 14, 2012

A Kent, Washington man is being summoned to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week, following his indictment for illegal transfer of a firearm to a non-state resident. BENEDICT C. LADERA, 31, was indicted last week by the grand jury, and is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 9:00. LADERA, who is not a licensed gun dealer, knowingly sold a .40 caliber handgun to Demetry Smirnov, a Canadian citizen. Smirnov later used the gun in the murder of 36-year-old Vitka Jesel, an Oak Brook, Illinois woman he met on line. More »

Defendants Who Illegally Sold Firearms at Gunshows Sentenced to 18 Month Prison Terms

February 2, 2012

The second of two defendants convicted of selling firearms at gun shows without a required federal license, was sentenced to 18 months in prison today, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. MARK A. SKILES, 47, of Belfair, Washington, was convicted in October 2011, of Conspiracy to Unlawfully Deal Firearms and Unlawfully dealing in firearms. SKILES, and his business partner, KENNETH GUSSONI, 56, of Bremerton, Washington, were identified in an undercover federal investigation repeatedly selling firearms at gun shows without the required federal licenses. GUSSONI pleaded guilty, and was sentenced last month to 18 months in prison. At the sentencing hearing today, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle said, the illegal sale of firearms is dangerous, and a very serious offense. More »

Six Fairbanks Men Arrested on Indictment for Drug Conspiracy

February 1, 2012

Fairbanks, Alaska — United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, February 1, 2012, that six residents of Fairbanks, Alaska, were arrested during a joint federal and state takedown. The six individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage on January 19, 2012, on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute powder, crack cocaine, and oxycodone pills in Fairbanks. The indictment alleges that the conspiracy began in June 2010, and continued through March 2011. The indictment detailed nearly 30 transactions involving six different named co–conspirators who had distributed illegal controlled substances. More »

Anchorage Meth Dealer Receives 120–Month Sentence

February 1, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska — United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, February 1, 2012, that on January 31, 2012, Son Chieng Saephan, a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 120 months for his conviction of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. More »

Ketchikan Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

February 1, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska — United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, February 1, 2011, that Steven Kyle Doran, a resident of Ketchikan, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Juneau to seven years for his conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. More »

Man Who Lived for Three Decades Under False Identity Sentenced for Identify Theft and Illegal Gun Possession

January 27, 2012

A Covington, Washington, man who lived under a stolen identity for more than 30 years, even as he racked up prison sentences, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Seattle to 57 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. CURTIS TYRONE WUDTEE, 62, pleaded guilty in 2011 to misuse of a Social Security Number, aggravated identity theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm. While living under the identity of M.L.S., a person he met in 1977, WUDTEE was convicted of multiple different felonies and failed to pay back taxes. Those activities impacted the person whose identity had been stolen. More »

Coordinated Raids in Seattle Area and Bay Area Disrupts Large Drug Trafficking Organization

January 25, 2012

Twenty people are in custody following the coordinated take down of a lengthy investigation into a cocaine, meth and heroin trafficking ring that stretched from San Francisco to Vancouver, Canada, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. The investigation, which utilized court authorized wire taps, revealed how the conspirators brought multi–kilo loads of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into the Seattle area from California, and distributed it in Western Washington, or sent it north into Canada. Most of the defendants taken into custody today will make their initial appearance on the charges at 2:30 today in U.S. District Court in Seattle. More »

Mexican National Sentenced for Unlawfully Possessing Firearms

January 17, 2012

BOISE — Ceila Ivonnie Loya, 32, a Mexican national formerly living in Wendell, Idaho, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for unlawful possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. She pled guilty in October 2011. More »

Snohomish County Man Sentenced to Prison for Robbery Tied to Gun Trafficking Investigation

January 13, 2012

A 20–year–old Snohomish County man was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to rob property of the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. KEVIN KNOWLES was arrested in April 2011, after he and three other men used an AK–47 assault rifle to rob a person who was working with law enforcement. The robbers did not know their meeting with the gun purchaser was being monitored by law enforcement. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. More »

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    • SAC Torres and Governor Schwarzenegger at a conference about Operation Disarm
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