News and Press Releases

Coordination by State and Federal Prosecutors aimed at reducing gun violence

January 13, 2006

LAWRENCE HILL, 30, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced to ten years in prison and three years of supervised release today for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman imposed the sentence that had been reached in a plea agreement between HILL and prosecutors. King County Prosecutors and Federal Prosecutors chose to bring the case against HILL in Federal Court in an effort to put an end to his career of violent crimes.

In a joint submission to the court on behalf of both prosecutors and defense attorneys, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo described HILL’s criminal behavior and the potential sentences he faced in King County Superior Court or in Federal Court. In March, 2005 a warrant was issued for HILL’s arrest after he threatened a former girlfriend and her new boyfriend and fired shots into the boyfriend’s car. In April, 2005, HILL was arrested by the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. At the time of his arrest HILL was found to have a stolen Glock handgun and methamphetamine. While HILL faced a potential ten year sentence if convicted in King County Superior Court, he would not have had the three year post-release supervision available in the federal system.

HILL was prosecuted federally as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). Unveiled by President George W. Bush in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods, is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. The goal is 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 has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

By prosecuting HILL federally, the goal, in part, is to remove him from the state prison system and his criminal cohorts. As Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo wrote in his sentencing memorandum “a plea to a federal charge would remove Mr. Hill from a prison system where he may have grown comfortable - a system that had yet to affect his behavior once outside its walls.”

The case against HILL was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo. Mr. Colasurdo is a King County Deputy Prosecutor who is on special assignment to the United States Attorney’s Office. His position is funded by Project Safe Neighborhoods.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206)553-4110.

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