News and Press Releases

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

May 14, 2007

TRACY DAMON LEE, 39, of Kent, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 18 years in prison and five years of supervised release after being convicted of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice and Possession of Cocaine. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart found LEE was an Armed Career Criminal and said LEE’s use of firearms and the fact that previous long terms of incarceration had not stopped his criminal conduct prompted the 18 year sentence.

LEE was convicted in November 2006, following a two day jury trial. The jury deliberated for about two and a half hours.

According to court records, LEE was arrested on December 22, 2005, following a high speed chase that began in Kent and continued on state highway 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 he sped away, driving on the sidewalk and running stop signs at speeds up to 90 MPH. LEE drove onto highway 167 and began passing cars at speeds up to 100 MPH. 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 was finally arrested as he tried to run away from the area on railroad tracks. In the van officers discovered a fully loaded .357 caliber Taurus revolver, that 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 in the First Degree, 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 Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice for plotting with his girlfriend to elicit false testimony about the gun.

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