News and Press Releases

REPEAT OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 9+ YEARS IN PRISON FOR GUN CRIME
Auburn Gang Member Has Long History of Drug and Gun Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2009

ALVIN HENRY WHITESIDE, 36, of Auburn, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 110 months (9 years, 2 months) in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. WHITESIDE was arrested in August 2008, following a search of his Auburn home. A confidential informant had identified WHITESIDE as a member of a group trafficking cocaine, marijuana and PCP in the Seattle area. A search of the home turned up weapons, ammunition and various drugs. At sentencing U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour observed that “most often people tend to grow out of this (criminal behavior.) This man’s going to be approaching 50 when he gets out.... I’m hoping he’s tired of this.”

According to records filed in the case, WHITESIDE has five prior felony convictions: Possession with Intent to Deliver Cocaine while Armed with a deadly weapon (King County 1994); Delivery of Cocaine (Lewis County 1995); Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (King County 2000);
Possession of Cocaine (King County 2001); and Possession of Cocaine (King County 2003). During the search of WHITESIDE’s home police found a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic pistol in the night stand next to his bed. Officers found small amounts of drugs and $2,900 cash. Additional guns and drugs were found in the garage and laundry room of the home, but WHITESIDE claimed they belonged to a gang associate who had been living in the garage. The associate was prosecuted by the King County Prosecutors Office.

In asking for a significant sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo wrote to the court, “Whiteside’s prior arrests and convictions, combined with his actions in this case, lead to but one conclusion: Whiteside will again arm himself with a firearm and deal drugs when he is released. Whiteside has consistently and repeatedly disobeyed orders of the court, and disregarded the law, by continuing to possess firearms and deal drugs. As long as he continues to do so, he will be a threat to this community.”

WHITESIDE 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) the Tacoma Police Department, FBI and the South Sound Gang Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo. Mr. Colasurdo is a Deputy King County Prosecutor, specially designated to prosecute gun and drug crimes in federal court.

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.

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