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Longmont man sentenced to over 6 years in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2013

DENVER – Shawn Stephen Russell, age 30, of Longmont, Colorado, was sentenced late last week by U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer to serve 75 months (over 6 years) in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, United States Attorney John Walsh and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Denver Special Agent in Charge Andrew Traver announced.  After serving his prison term, Judge Brimmer ordered Russell to serve 3 years on supervised release.  Russell appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was immediately remanded at the hearing’s conclusion.

Russell was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 6, 2011.  He pled guilty before Judge Brimmer on September 6, 2011.  He was sentenced on February 1, 2013. 

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, at approximately 2:00 p.m. on November 4, 2010, the renter of a home in Longmont, Colorado reported to police that Russell was at her residence, and that there was a warrant out for his arrest.  The renter stated that she decided to come forward because earlier that day, Russell had come to her residence, entered her bedroom, laid down and placed a firearm between his legs while he went to sleep.  After the police received the report, the Longmont Police Department and the Boulder County SWAT teams were deployed to the renter’s residence.  Police lawfully obtained a state search warrant to look for the firearm the renter saw.  SWAT officers then surrounded the renter’s residence, and began making announcements for all individuals in the residence to exit. 

Soon after the announcement, a man and woman exited the residence.  The man stated that he was upstairs in a bedroom with Russell, and that Russell had an old .41 caliber revolver with a six-inch barrel.  The man also stated that after he heard the announcement he saw Russell run down the stairs with the revolver, and heard the defendant say he was going into the crawl space.  The defendant also said he was not going back to prison and was going to go out with a bang.

Russell proceeded to engage in an approximately 12-hour standoff with police.  During the standoff, the SWAT team repeatedly ordered Russell to exit the residence, using loudspeakers to communicate with him.  Police also fired a substantial amount of chemical munitions of various types into the residence in an attempt to force Russell to exit.  Eventually the SWAT team entered the residence.  At approximately 5:13 a.m. on November 5, 2010, Russell was taken into custody by SWAT team members in the attic of the residence. 

Thereafter, police began searching the residence for the firearm.  At approximately 7:30 a.m. police located a firearm matching the description given by the various witnesses who had exited the residence.  The firearm, a Smith & Wesson Model 58, .41 caliber revolver, was in the crawl space.  It was loaded with four rounds of .41 caliber ammunition. 

Russell, who was a convicted felon who possessed the revolver, had nine separate convictions.  The convictions were:

1.         Second degree burglary in Larimer County
2.         Identity theft in Larimer County
3.         Check fraud in Larimer County
4.         Aggravated motor vehicle theft in Boulder County
5.         Identity theft in Boulder County
6.         Identity theft in Boulder County
7.         Attempted first degree trespass of an automobile in Boulder County
8.         Menacing with a deadly weapon in Boulder County
9.         Attempted stalking in Boulder County

“Shawn Stephen Russell showed bad judgment 9 different times before this case – and was convicted of 9 different felonies,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  “His 10th felony came after an armed standoff.  Longmont is a safer place today because this 10 time felon is behind bars.”

“ATF is committed to protecting the citizens of Colorado,” said Special Agent in Charge, Andrew Traver.  “We will continue to offer our resources and expertise in making sure violent offenders are taken off our streets and put behind bars.”

“The great but dangerous work performed by our police officers in removing Russell from our community will make this neighborhood and our City safer,” said Longmont Public Safety Chief Mike Butler.

This case was investigated by the Longmont Police Department and ATF with support from the Boulder County SWAT team.

Russell was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Bergsieker.

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