News and Press Releases

Defendant Has Three Previous Convictions for Illegal Firearm Possession

January 25, 2008

JASON TYREE FRANKLIN, 29, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 67 months in prison and three years of supervised release for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. This is FRANKLIN’s fourth conviction for illegal firearms possession; it is his first federal conviction. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle imposed the sentence.

According to records filed in the case, FRANKLIN was arrested June 13, 2007, after officers with the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force and Tacoma Police Department saw him leave a relative’s house. The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) had issued a warrant for FRANKLIN’s arrest because he was in violation of his parole. Officers stopped the car FRANKLIN was in, and after FRANKLIN was handcuffed he told the officers he had a gun. A stolen Taurus .44 caliber revolver was recovered from FRANKLIN’s waistband. He told authorities he had bought it from a friend for $200.

FRANKLIN has a lengthy criminal history, including Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (2005), Attempting to Elude a Pursuing Police Vehicle (2005), Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (2002), Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (1999), Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (1997), and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (1997).

In his sentencing memo, Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber noted FRANKLIN has now been convicted four times of illegal gun possession. “The second conviction for that crime showed a lack of concern regarding the law and the inherent dangers meant to be addressed by prohibiting felons from possessing guns. The third proved his utter contempt of both the law and the courts. This fourth conviction demonstrates that the defendant simply cannot ever be trusted in this regard, and that he must be locked up for a long time in order to protect the public,” Gruber wrote in his sentencing memo.

FRANKLIN 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 Tacoma and Pierce County – has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force, the Tacoma Police Department, and the Washington State Department of Corrections.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber.

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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