News and Press Releases

SEATTLE MAN SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR DEALING CRACK COCAINE
Leader of Gang That Sold Drugs, Used Violence and Intimidation in University District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2006

DANIEL MALEDE AMBAW, 22, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today to eight years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine Base. At sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik urged AMBAW to choose a new path for his life saying, “the patience of the United States government and state and local government for your criminal behavior is at an end.”

AMBAW was indicted in November 2005. According to documents filed in the case, AMBAW was one of the leaders of a group dubbed the East African Posse or EAP. The gang sold significant quantities of crack cocaine in the University District in Seattle and in Everett. AMBAW would get cocaine from a supplier, and give it to others for cooking into crack and selling. The other gang members would give AMBAW a cut of the money they made selling the crack.

At sentencing, Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg noted the violence associated with the gang. AMBAW had been sentenced in state court to six months in prison for an assault where he pistol whipped the victim and burned the victim’s hands with a lighter. Prosecutors noted other acts of violence in arguing for a lengthy sentence. In October 2004, AMBAW had driven two women and some gang associates to California, intending for the women to work as prostitutes. When things on the trip went wrong, AMBAW and co-defendant KAHSAY MAMO ABRAHA, beat one of the women and a gang associate. The victims reported the assault to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The federal gang task force led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) has arrested and prosecuted 19 members of the EAP since 2004. Last week co-defendant KAHSAY MAMO ABRAHA, 21, of Seattle, was sentenced to seven years in prison in connection with the drug trafficking. In May, YOHANNES AMBACHEW, 19, of Seattle was sentenced to ten years in prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Violent Gang Task Force which includes representatives of ATF and FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

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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