GANG MEMBER PLEADS GUILTY TO BEING A FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM
Defendant Appears in Internet Video Holding Gun and Making Threats Against Rival Gang Members
ERIC CHARLES SANFORD, 21, of Seattle, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to being a felon in possession of a firearm. SANFORD was arrested on November 15, 2008, following a traffic stop in central Seattle. SANFORD was a passenger in a car that was stopped for traffic violations. SANFORD was ordered out of the car for parole violations. When SANFORD got out of the back seat, officers spotted a gun where he had been sitting. SANFORD is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on July 17, 2009.
According to records filed in the case, SANFORD came into federal custody on December 30, 2008. Charging papers indicate SANFORD is affiliated with the Deuce 8 set of the Black Gangster Disciple (BGD) gang. SANFORD also goes by the monikers “Lil’ E” and “Doughboy.” At the detention hearing Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi played a video posted on the internet in which SANFORD waves a gun around and threatens rival gang members. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler ruled SANFORD would be detained pending trial as both a risk to the community and a flight risk.
SANFORD has a prior conviction for delivery of cocaine in King County on March 31, 2008, and so was barred from possessing a firearm. The gun, a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic firearm was loaded, with a round chambered. The serial number had been obliterated. Officers also found crack cocaine in the car in the area where SANFORD had been sitting.
SANFORD was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. 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 Puget Sound Violent Crimes Task Force, an FBI led group with increased focus on gang violence in the Seattle area.
The case is being 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 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.