News and Press Releases

PIERCE COUNTY MAN CONVICTED FOR BEING A FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2005

ROBINSON "BODIE" SMITH, 50, of Graham, Washington was convicted by a jury in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. SMITH will likely face a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison if found to be an Armed Career Criminal with at least three prior violent felonies, when sentenced January 13, 2006 by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton.

According to court filings, the Pierce County Sheriff was pursuing SMITH on a felony warrant issued in September, 2004. Local authorities enlisted the help of the joint federal/local Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force to find and arrest SMITH. In early October 2004, the task force received a tip that SMITH was hiding out near Puyallup. After a short period of surveillance, task force members spotted SMITH leaving the property in a white pick-up truck. When SMITH realized he was being followed, he began throwing items from the truck and led authorities on a high speed chase. SMITH's truck eventually rolled to a stop and SMITH surrendered on East Main Street in Puyallup. Arresting agents found a Glock 9 mm handgun loaded with a clip of bullets in a black plastic sack in the bench seat of the pick-up truck. As a convicted felon, SMITH is barred from possessing a firearm.

SMITH has prior convictions in Pierce and Mason Counties for Grand Larceny, 1976, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance, 1976, First Degree Robbery, 1980, First Degree Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, 1988, Custodial Assault, 1989, Felon in Possession of a Firearm,1990, Second Degree Malicious Mischief, 1997, and Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance, 1998.

SMITH was prosecuted federally as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Unveiled by President George W. Bush in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement to reduce violent crime. Project Safe Neighborhoods networks both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and provides programs with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level -- in this case, in Pierce County -- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force is made up of agents and officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Tacoma Police Department and the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Kent Y. Liu and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Thomas 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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