News and Press Releases

REPEAT OFFENDER GETS TEN YEAR TERM FOR DRUG AND GUN CRIMES
Kent Man Has Eleven Felony Convictions in last Ten Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2009

JUSTIN BLAIR ALFORD, 26, of Kent, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison and four years of supervised release for two counts of Distribution of Crack Cocaine, one count of Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, and one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. ALFORD was arrested August 7, 2008, following two sales of crack cocaine to a confidential informant who was working with police. At the time of his arrest, ALFORD had a dozen bags of crack cocaine packaged for sale in his pocket, and carried a stolen Ruger 9mm semi-automatic firearm in his car. At his sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly noted that ALFORD has a long criminal history. The judge said he hoped the ten year sentence would allow ALFORD to turn his life around. “I’m not optimistic,” Judge Zilly said, “but I hope you’ll surprise us all.”

According to records filed in the case, ALFORD was identified by a confidential informant with the Auburn Police Department as a source of crack cocaine. Working with police, the informant purchased crack cocaine from ALFORD on July 29, 2008 and August 7, 2008. Following the second drug deal, ALFORD was followed to two different apartment complexes in Kent, where he was suspected of making other drug deliveries. He was arrested as he attempted to leave the second apartment complex. ALFORD pleaded guilty February 12, 2009.

ALFORD has a lengthy criminal history with twenty-four convictions over the last ten years. Eleven of the convictions are for felonies. In 1999 ALFORD was convicted of Possession of Crack Cocaine, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; in 2001 he was convicted of Possession of a Controlled Substance; in 2003 he was convicted of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Attempted Eluding, and Illegal Possession of a Firearm; in 2007 ALFORD was convicted of Possession of Crack Cocaine. Despite that criminal history the longest prison sentence ALFORD has previously served is 21 months in prison.

In asking for the ten year sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo wrote to the court that ALFORD “has consistently and repeatedly disobeyed orders of the court, and disregarded the law, by continuing to possess firearms and sell/possess illegal drugs. As stated above, the prior sentences he has received have not deterred him and seemingly had little or no effect on his decision making and behavior.”

ALFORD was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Unveiled 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 King County-- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Auburn Police Department, with assistance from the Washington State Patrol.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo. Mr. Colasurdo is a Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute gun and drug cases 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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