News and Press Releases

PACIFIC COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO ELEVEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR DRUG AND WEAPONS CRIMES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2005

GARY LOU LENTZ,, 31, of Long Beach, Washington, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton to one hundred thirty-two months in prison and five (5) years of supervised release for his February 17th guilty pleas to charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of Five Grams or More of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute.

On September 24, 2003, a Longview Police Officer pulled LENTZ over after the officer saw LENTZ squeal his tires and drive over a curb as his car left a parking lot. LENTZ appeared to be under the influence of drugs and officers found about four grams of methamphetamine in his pocket. When officers searched the car, they found a loaded 9mm revolver in the glove box and another 13 grams of methamphetamine under the front passenger seat.

As Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Gruber wrote in his sentencing memorandum to the court, "Lentz has a very lengthy and serious criminal history. Much of it is violent in nature." In 1993, LENTZ was convicted of Assault 4 for slamming his girlfriend's head into a wall. In 1996, he was convicted in Pacific County of Assault 2 and Burglary 1 for entering the victim's apartment, along with his brother and a third man, and severely beating and pistol-whipping the victim. In 1998, he was convicted of Malicious Mischief 2 for using a baseball bat to break out the windows on a car. He has twice been convicted of Attempting to Elude Police, once in Oregon and the other time in Cowlitz County. And in 2003, LENTZ was convicted of Possession of Methamphetamine in Pacific County.

LENTZ was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Unveiled by President George W. Bush 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 Cowlitz and Pacific Counties -- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Longview Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber. 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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