News and Press Releases


May 19, 2009

BRANDON R. SHELL, 27, of Seattle, Washington faces a detention hearing tomorrow, following the filing of three felony charges in connection with a shooting in central Seattle last summer. SHELL is charged with three federal felonies: being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of crack cocaine with intent to deliver, and carrying a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime. The last charge carries a mandatory minimum five years in prison on top of the sentence on the other convictions. SHELL had been in custody at the King County Jail before he was taken into federal custody last week. His detention hearing is scheduled in front of Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday May 20, 2009. The United States Attorney’s Office will be seeking the continued detention of SHELL, who had previously been in the custody of the King County Jail on related state charges.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, on June 6, 2008, just before midnight, Seattle Police Officers responded to reports of a shooting at 19th and E. Pine Street. Witnesses described a shooter hanging out of the passenger side window of a maroon sedan shooting across the roof with a black handgun. Less than 20 minutes later, officers spotted a maroon Taurus sedan near 25th Avenue and East Union. Officers stopped the sedan and questioned the passenger, SHELL, and a female driver. The car had a groove from a bullet strike on the roof. SHELL confirmed for officers that he was a member of the street gang known as the “West Side Street Mob.” The car was impounded and later searched. A Hi-Point Firearms 9mm Luger pistol was found under the seat, and crack cocaine was found in a coat that SHELL had identified as his. Shortly after the shooting, a victim arrived at Harborview Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the arm. The victim’s car was riddled with bullets. The victim had driven home and had his wife drive him to the hospital. The victim claimed he did not know who had shot at him, or why he had been targeted.

SHELL has prior convictions in juvenile court for residential burglary and theft, and convictions in King County Superior Court for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a firearm. Those convictions prohibit SHELL from legally possessing a firearm.

If convicted SHELL faces a maximum prison sentence of ten years for the crime of felon in possession of a firearm; a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of forty years for possession of cocaine base (crack) with intent to distribute; and a mandatory sentence of five years, in addition to any other sentence imposed, for carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Puget Sound Violent Crimes Task Force which includes officers from the Seattle Police Department and U.S. Marshal Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ye-Ting Woo and Bruce Miyake.

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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