News and Press Releases

Level 3 Sex Offender Faces 15 Year Sentence After Conviction in Federal Court

May 1, 2007

WILLIAM GARY FUGITT, 39, of Tacoma, Washington, was found guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma of being a felon in possession of a firearm. FUGITT is a Level 3 sex offender with eleven prior felony convictions, including convictions for Indecent Liberties and Child Molestation. United States District Judge Ronald B. Leighton found the defendant guilty following a bench trial.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that a warrant was issued for FUGITT’s arrest for violating probation. Community Corrections Officers found the defendant hiding in his mother’s home in Tacoma, Washington. FUGITT attempted to escape through the back door but was met by an officer. FUGITT ran back inside the house and hid in a room. FUGITT was ordered out of the room at gun point and arrested. A loaded .38 caliber revolver was later found underneath a mattress inside the room. After his arrest, FUGITT admitted the gun was his and said that he should have shot the officers when they entered the house.

FUGITT will be sentenced by United States District Judge Ronald B. Leighton on September 21, 2007. Because of his lengthy criminal history, FUGITT could receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison as an Armed Career Criminal.

FUGITT was prosecuted in federal court under 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 Pierce County -- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Washington State Department of Corrections, the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kent Liu.

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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