News and Press Releases


March 4, 2005

PAUL JOSEPH ROBINSON, age 27, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today to 87 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and body armor (bulletproof vest) on two different dates in 2003. The prison sentence, handed down by United States District Judge Ronald B. Leighton, will be followed by three (3) years of supervised release.

Court records show that on February 18, 2003, ROBINSON was the driver of a car pulled over by police for traffic violations. A subsequent search of the car resulted in the seizure of two handguns. On December 4, 2003, agents and officers with the Pierce County Violent Crime Task Force served a search warrant on a car registered to the defendant. Inside the car, police found one rock of crack cocaine and a bulletproof vest. When interviewed on December 4th, ROBINSON admitted to police that the body armor was his, and that one of the guns seized on February 18th also belonged to him. Because of his prior felony convictions (which included Assault in the Third Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of Cocaine With Intent to Deliver), ROBINSON was prohibited from possessing either a firearm or body armor.

ROBINSON was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Unveiled by President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods, a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement, 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 Tacoma and Pierce County -- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

This case was primarily investigated by members of the Pierce County Violent Crime Task Force, made up of agents and officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Tacoma Police Department, the Lakewood Police Department, the State Department of Corrections, and the Pierce County Sheriff's Office. Additional assistance was also provided by several other law enforcement agencies in Pierce County. The case was investigated and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber.

For further 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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