News and Press Releases

Armed Defendant Arrested Following Traffic Stop with Crack Cocaine on Front Seat

April 11, 2008

TYRONE ALEXANDER THORN, 33, of Tacoma, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to ten years in prison and five years of supervised release for Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, and Carrying a Firearm During and in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense. The second charge carries a mandatory minimum five year sentence to run consecutive to the sentence on the drug crime. At sentencing today U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton told THORN, that although he had potential and the support of his family and friends, he had squandered his opportunities and instead chosen to sell drugs to others with disregard for the devastating consequences. As a result, the judge said he had no choice but to impose the harsh sentence.

According to records filed in the case, THORN was stopped on June 19, 2007, in Tacoma for reckless driving. At about 2:00 AM, a Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy had observed the car THORN was driving speeding south on McKinley Avenue in Tacoma. The car appeared to be going 100 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. The car failed to stop for both a stop sign and a stop light. The deputy was able to get THORN to stop the car in a church parking lot at East 85th Street and 18th Avenue East. On the seat of the car was a black plastic bag containing seven individually wrapped bags of crack cocaine. THORN was carrying a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol.

THORN 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 Pierce County-- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

This case was investigated by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI as part of the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William H. Redkey, Jr.

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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