U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Washington
For Immediate Release
January 21, 2010
Jenny A. Durkan, United States Attorney
Contact: Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer
Repeat Offender Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession
Defendant Accidently Fired Stolen Gun Inside his Pocket Outside Notorious Seattle Club
RASHAD PARIS KIMBROUGH, 29, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to six years in prison and three years of supervised release for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. KIMBROUGH pleaded guilty in connection with an incident January 9, 2007, when a gun went off inside KIMBROUGH’s pocket while he loitered outside ‘Club Chocolate City’ in central Seattle. No one was injured. Police arrested KIMBROUGH that night, and the case was charged federally June 16, 2009. At sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said the fact that the gun went off while KIMBROUGH had it was an aggravating factor.
You cannot ignore the fact that a loaded firearm in the hands of this individual was extremely dangerous, the Chief Judge said.
According to records filed in the case, KIMBROUGH has twenty criminal convictions, nine of them felonies. The convictions include multiple drug possession and distribution charges involving cocaine, as well as theft and obstruction. Those convictions bar KIMBROUGH from legally possessing a firearm.
On the night of January 9, 2007, Seattle Police officers watched as KIMBROUGH left Club Chocolate City near 20th and E. Madison in Seattle. KIMBROUGH saw the officers and jammed his hand into his coat pocket. Officers heard a loud sound like a gun shot – KIMBROUGH quickly turned and returned to the club. Officers went into the club to locate KIMBROUGH but were unsuccessful. A short time later they spotted him outside the club and KIMBROUGH ran from the officers. When they were able to stop him, they found a Ruger .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol in a planter box near where KIMBROUGH was taken into custody. There was a hole in the pocket of KIMBROUGH’s coat. The gun was tested for DNA. The DNA on the gun was a match to KIMBROUGH’s DNA profile. The gun had been reported stolen in Pierce County, Washington.
Club Chocolate City has since closed due to ongoing drug problems which were the subject of state and federal investigations.
In asking for a significant sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo noted the danger of a felon and addict with a loaded weapon.
The sight of the officers outside the club obviously made Kimbrough nervous. His reaction upon seeing them was to quickly walk away from them and to secure the stolen, and loaded, firearm he had in his pocket. In doing so, however, he accidentally fired a round from it. Kimbrough is very fortunate he did not injure himself or anyone else that night as the bullet fired from his gun could very well have struck him or someone else nearby, Mr. Colasurdo wrote in his sentencing memo.
KIMBROUGH 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 County — has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.
This case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department 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 crimes 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.