News and Press Releases

Defendant with Long Criminal History Linked to the Crime by DNA

October 27, 2008

TONY RYAN BURCHETT, 43, of Vancouver, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 108 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Possession of an Unregistered Firearm. On November 21, 2006, BURCHETT left an explosive device on the front tire of a Chevy Trailblazer parked in a driveway in unincorporated Clark County. BURCHETT was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 30, 2008, and pleaded guilty on July 21, 2008. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said that although he was moved by the defendant’s abusive childhood, he cited BURCHETT’s extensive criminal history (all but four years of his adult life has been spent in prison) and concluded that a long sentence was necessary “to protect the public.”

According to records filed in the case, a man called police the morning of November 21, 2006, saying there was a suspicious device on the front tire of his SUV. Clark County Sheriff’s deputies and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) disabled the device by shooting it with an air-powered pellet gun. The device was a glass bottle filled with a bluish green substance and a fuse. Near the device agents also collected a cigarette butt which was sent to the crime lab. The butt contained DNA which was a match to BURCHETT. On November 22, 2006, a Washington State Department of Corrections Officer and ATF Agent interviewed BURCHETT who admitted he planted the device because he was angry at the victim over a debt. BURCHETT had left the cigarette as a “slow burning ignitor,” so he could get away before the device exploded.

BURCHETT has a lengthy criminal history going back more than two decades in Clark County, Washington. In 1986 he was convicted of Attempted First Degree Theft. In 1989 he was convicted of Possession of Methamphetamine. BURCHETT was convicted of Rape of a Child in 1989. In 1995, he was convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, and in 1997, he was convicted of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute. In 2004, he was convicted of Identity Theft in Multnomah County Court in Portland, Oregon. In 2004, and 2006, BURCHETT had Fourth Degree Assault Convictions in Clark County. Also in 2006, he was convicted of Malicious Prosecution of a Felony, and in 2007, he was convicted of First Degree Theft.

This case was investigated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF.

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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