News and Press Releases

SEATTLE MAN WITH GANG TIES, SENTENCED TO 4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR GUN CRIME
Felon Carried Stolen Glock Semi-Automatic Firearm when Arrested in Downtown Seattle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2009

SARITH SOK, 26, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to four years in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. SOK was arrested February 11, 2009, when King County Sheriff’s Deputies approached a group of people near South Jackson Street who appeared to be smoking marijuana. SOK had a loaded Glock, 9mm semi-automatic firearm tucked in his waistband. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the sentence.

According to the records filed in the case, SOK admits he is a gang member, and has three previous felony convictions as an adult: Delivery of Cocaine (2001, King County); Possession of PCP (2003, King County); and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (2006, King County). The loaded Glock firearm had been reported stolen from a car outside the Silver Dollar Casino in Renton three days before SOK’s arrest.

SOK has been linked to gun crime previously, including an investigation involving a drive-by shooting in 2005. In his sentencing memo, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo writes, “Prior to obtaining two felony convictions for possessing a firearm, one in 2007 and now this one in 2009, Sok was also contacted by law enforcement in 1999, 2003, and twice in 2005 for firearm-related incidents.” SOK also has numerous arrests related to drug use and drug dealing. Just four days before his arrest in this case, he was arrested for possession of PCP.

SOK 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 King County Sheriff’s Department, the Seattle Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. 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 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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