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REPEAT OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 12+ YEARS IN PRISON FOR POSSESSION OF STOLEN GUNS
Pierce County Man Arrested in Stolen Car with Stolen Firearms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2007

MONROE PLEZE SIMMONS, 48, of Pierce County, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 151 months in prison and three years of supervised release for two counts of Possession of Stolen Firearms. SIMMONS is a repeat offender with prior convictions for robbery, attempted robbery and burglary. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez observed that SIMMONS had been a law abiding citizen for a few years following his last release from prison. “I hope this is just an aberration and that when you get out, you don’t come back here again,” the Judge said.

According to documents filed in the case, SIMMONS was parked at a rest stop in Federal Way the morning of July 1, 2006. A Federal Way police officer ran the license plate of the car and discovered it had been reported stolen. SIMMONS was arrested without incident. When officers searched the car they discovered three handguns, two were directly under the drivers seat where SIMMONS had been sitting. Investigators determined the guns had been stolen from a locked cabinet at a home where SIMMONS had been hired to do yard work. The car had also been stolen from that residence. SIMMONS has a criminal history going back 25 years, with convictions in California for Burglary (1981), Robbery (1983), two counts of Robbery (1985), and in Arizona for Attempted Robbery (1994) and Robbery (1998).

SIMMONS 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 Federal Way 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 specially designated to prosecute gun crimes in federal court.

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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