News and Press Releases

Repeat Offender Designated as “Armed Career Criminal” Resulting in Lengthy Term

May 19, 2006


ELMER JAY CLARK, 45, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm as an Armed Career Criminal. CLARK was designated an Armed Career Criminal because of his lengthy and violent criminal history. The designation requires a mandatory minimum 15 year prison term.

According to records filed in the case, CLARK was arrested May, 11, 2005, by Seattle Police officers and a Washington State Department of Corrections Officer. CLARK ran from police, struggled with the officers and was carrying a loaded pistol.

CLARK’s lengthy criminal history made the case appropriate for federal prosecution. CLARK has seven convictions for violent felonies over the last thirty years. In 1978 he was convicted of the shot gun robbery of a Circle K convenience store in Canyon County, Idaho. In 1989, CLARK was convicted of third degree assault in Walla Walla, Washington, for hitting a man in the head with a brick. That same year, also in Walla Walla, CLARK was convicted of two counts of third degree assault for attacking two men with a broken wine bottle, and later attacking police officers as they put him in the patrol car. In 1990, CLARK was convicted of second degree assault for a tavern fight in Spokane, Washington where CLARK stabbed a man eight times with a knife, and head-butting the bartender who tried to intervene.

In 1994 in Idaho, CLARK was convicted of Aggravated Assault for breaking into a home with a shotgun and holding the people inside at gunpoint. Just six months later in King County, Washington, CLARK broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and attacked her with a knife. CLARK was convicted of third degree assault. In 1999, CLARK was convicted of felony harassment after attacking another Seattle-area girlfriend, pulling a knife and threatening to kill her. CLARK attempted to run the woman down with his car.

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

The case 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 C. Andrew Colasurdo. Mr. Colasurdo is a Senior Deputy Prosecutor with the King County Prosecutors Office who is specially designated to handle gun cases in Federal Court. His position is federally funded through Project Safe Neighborhood.

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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