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Colorado Springs man found guilty of gun and drug crimes

January 25, 2012

DENVER – Leon Henderson Askew, age 39, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was found guilty late last week of gun and drug crimes following a four day jury trial before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel. The jury deliberated for approximately 2 hours before reaching their verdict. Askew is scheduled to be sentenced on April 2, 2012. Askew was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on May 5, 2011. A superseding indictment was obtained on January 9, 2012.

According to the facts presented at trial, on April 1, 2011 an El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling a local hotel when he identified a vehicle with expired plates. After learning the room that was associated with that vehicle several deputies made contact with the people in the room. The defendant, Askew, was the person who opened the door. Deputies immediately smelled marijuana. After a brief conversation Askew ran from the Deputies. They gave chase, and eventually located him hiding under a vehicle. During a pat down search the Deputies recovered $1,259 and an empty knife sheath strapped to his wrist.

As the investigation continued it was determined that a number of women were in the hotel room with Askew. One woman had started to use methamphetamine in 6th grade, at the age of 13. A lawful search of the hotel room revealed narcotics and drug paraphernalia as well as a red and black backpack. The contents of the backpack included digital scales, different types of narcotics, $1,341 in U.S. currency, and in a separate pocket, a Smith and Wesson .357 caliber revolver.

Askew was convicted of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. He was convicted of possession with intent to distribute approximately 12.73 grams of crack cocaine, which carries a penalty of not more than 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $1,000,000 fine. He was also convicted of possession with intent to distribute approximately 7.85 grams of cocaine, which carries the same penalty as the previous count. Lastly, he was convicted of unlawfully possessing and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. That carries a penalty of not less than 5 years and up to life imprisonment consecutive to any other sentence, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.

"We are pleased with the outcome of this case," said Marvin Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Denver Field Division. “The ATF will continue to work aggressively with our partners at the federal, state, and local levels in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons.”

This case was investigated by the ATF, the El Paso County Sheriff, and the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Askew was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kurt Bohn and Michael Carey.


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