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Colorado Springs man sentenced to over 10 years in federal prison for gun and drug crimes

June 14, 2012

DENVER – Leon Henderson Askew, age 40, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was sentenced late last week to serve 130 months (over 10 years) in federal prison for gun and drug crimes. The sentence was handed down by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel. Following his prison sentence, Askew was ordered to serve 5 years on supervised release. The defendant appeared at the hearing in custody, and was remanded at the hearing’s conclusion.

Askew was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on May 2, 2011. A superseding indictment was obtained on January 9, 2012. He was found guilty following a four-day jury trial on January 20, 2012. Askew was sentenced by Chief Judge Daniel on June 8, 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, possession with intent to distribute approximately 12.73 grams of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute approximately 7.85 grams of cocaine, and unlawfully possessing and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

“Thanks to the cooperative efforts of the ATF, Colorado Springs Police Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, this Colorado Springs drug dealer will be off the streets for the next 10 years of his life,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

“The ATF is committed to taking violent criminals out of our communities and putting them behind bars,” said Marvin Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF, Denver Field Division. "Our agents believe in their mission and they will continue to work night and day in order to protect the citizens of Colorado.”

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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