News and Press Releases

Repeat Offender Led Police on High-speed Chase Through Kent Area

November 9, 2006

TRACY DAMON LEE, 39, of Kent, Washington, was convicted today by a jury in U.S. District Court in Seattle of Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice, and Obstruction of Justice. The jury deliberated for about two hours following a three-day trial.

According to court records, LEE was arrested on December 22, 2005, following a high-speed chase that began in Kent and continued on State Route 167. Initially, an officer with the Kent Police Department observed LEE run a red light. When the officer attempted to pull LEE’s van over, LEE sped away, driving on the sidewalk and running stop signs at speeds up to 90 miles per hour. LEE then drove onto Route 167 and began passing cars at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. One of the Kent Police officers put down a “spike strip” that punctured the tires on LEE’s van. LEE continued to flee on the flat tires until a pursuing officer used a special maneuver, forcing the van to crash into the median. LEE ran from the van and finally was arrested as he tried to run from the area on railroad tracks. In the van, officers discovered a fully loaded .357 caliber Taurus revolver, which had been stolen from its registered owner.

LEE is not allowed to possess firearms because of a 1987 King County Superior Court conviction for Robbery, and two federal convictions for Armed Bank Robbery in 1992. Following his arrest, LEE repeatedly contacted his girlfriend from both the county jail and the Federal Detention Center to concoct a story that the gun belonged to her, and that he did not know the weapon was in the car. The telephone calls from both facilities were recorded and played for the jury. Jurors convicted LEE of Conspiracy and Obstruction of Justice for plotting with his girlfriend to elicit false testimony about the gun.

At sentencing, prosecutors will ask Judge James Robart to find that LEE is an Armed Career Criminal and therefore faces a mandatory-minimum 15 year prison term.

LEE 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 Kent Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo and Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Friedman. Mr. Colasurdo is a Deputy King County Prosecutor who is specially designated to handle gun cases in federal court under 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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