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COWLITZ COUNTY "ARMED CAREER CRIMINAL" SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 19 YEARS IN PRISON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2005

MATTHEW C. DAVIDSON, 40, of Woodland, Cowlitz County, Washington was sentenced to 235 months in prison today for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice and Obstructing Justice. DAVIDSON was convicted by a jury in November 2004 and found to be an "Armed Career Criminal." That designation means DAVIDSON faced a mandatory minimum term of 15 years in prison. DAVIDSON has eleven prior felony convictions including convictions for assault, burglary, theft and possession of stolen property. At the sentencing today in front of U.S. District Court Judge Franklin D. Burgess in Tacoma, DAVIDSON had to be removed from the courtroom at one point for disrupting proceedings.

DAVIDSON was arrested in August 2002 for attempting to cash a forged check. When the car DAVIDSON was riding in was impounded, police found four guns in the trunk. A variety of witnesses testified that one shotgun and one pistol belonged to DAVIDSON.

In September of 2002 Cowlitz County prosecutors and federal authorities decided the case should be prosecuted federally under the Project Safe Neighborhood program, an initiative to get guns out of the hands of convicted felons. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) began its investigation and a Federal Grand Jury issued subpoenas. At trial, witnesses testified that DAVIDSON tried to get numerous people to testify falsely to the Grand Jury that the guns did not belong to him. DAVIDSON was recorded in a telephone conversation telling a witness to "stick with one story" – a story he had concocted at a meeting with various witnesses.

In asking for a term of 235 months in prison, federal prosecutors detailed DAVIDSON'S "long and egregious history of assaultive behavior." DAVIDSON'S own mother was forced to get a restraining order against him after he threatened to kill her and backed her into a corner with a gun under her chin. In the words of Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Friedman, DAVIDSON "... has pursued a non-stop path of destruction terrorizing those around him for more than 20 years." The long sentence will not only punish DAVIDSON, but protect those around him.

The case was investigated by ATF, and the Woodland Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew Friedman and Arlen Storm prosecuted the case. For additional information please contact Emily Langlie Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.

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