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FELON SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR POSSESSING STOLEN FIREARM
Kent Man Came to Attention of Law Enforcement After Shooting Himself in the Hand

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2007

JOSE SANTANA BALDERAS-RAMOS, 34, of Kent, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison for Possession of a Stolen Firearm. BALDERAS-RAMOS is a Mexican National and likely will be deported following his prison sentence. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the sentence that had been agreed to by both the prosecution and defense.

According to documents filed in the case, Kent police responded to St. Francis Hospital after learning that BALDERAS-RAMOS went there seeking medical treatment for a gunshot wound to his hand. BALDERAS-RAMOS told police he was in his apartment cleaning a Colt .45 caliber handgun when the gun went off, hitting him in the finger. BALDERAS-RAMOS knew the gun was stolen. BALDERAS-RAMOS has a lengthy criminal history, including multiple convictions for dealing methamphetamine.

BALDERAS-RAMOS 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 (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andy Colasurdo. Mr. Colasurdo is a King County Deputy Prosecutor specially designated to handle gun cases 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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