News and Press Releases

Defendant with Long Criminal History Led Police on High Speed Chase

November 14, 2008

JOE NICK SAIZ aka “Lobo,” 29, a member of the Surenos street gang, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 92 months in prison and four years of supervised release. One of the conditions of SAIZ’ supervised release is that he not associate with any gang members. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told him, “You are still a young man... there is a lot you can accomplish, there are some promising things in your background.” Judge Martinez urged SAIZ to get away from the negative influences in his life.

According to records filed in the case, SAIZ was arrested September 26, 2007, after leading King County Sheriff’s Deputies on a high speed chase. SAIZ bailed out of the vehicle and was ultimately tracked by a K-9 unit and was captured hiding in some bushes. In the car SAIZ had been driving officers found methamphetamine and a handgun. Police had been looking for SAIZ since a September 10, 2007, pistol-whipping assault on another man. The attack left the victim unconscious, and SAIZ threatened the victim’s family.

SAIZ pleaded guilty on August 8, 2008, resolving both the federal charge as well as assault charges in King County Superior Court.

At sentencing SAIZ told the judge that he saw this as his “last shot” at being rehabilitated. SAIZ’ attorney requested that he be placed at a prison outside the northwest so that he could get away from the criminal associates that have been part of his life.

Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi noted that by pleading guilty in federal court, SAIZ will be closely monitored after he gets out of prison – including the provision that he stay away from gang members. SAIZ “is agreeing to serve federal time, to be followed by a longer and more intensive period of federal supervision as compared to what he faced in the state system. The federal system’s comparatively greater resources will hopefully help SAIZ turn his life around, if that is what he wants to do. If he does not, federal supervision is more likely to catch, and punish, any future transgressions,” Lombardi wrote in his sentencing memo.

The case was investigated by the King County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi.

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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