News and Press Releases

Defendant Possessed Three Firearms Shortly After Release from Prison for 2006 Conviction

September 22, 2009

GALEN JOSEPH TRIGG, 37, of Longview, Washington, was sentenced today in U. S. District Court in Tacoma to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. This is the second time in five years that TRIGG has been sentenced for being a felon in possession of a firearm. TRIGG was first arrested in August 2004, and pleaded guilty to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm in March 2005. In early 2006, TRIGG was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison. In October 2008, just months after his release from prison, TRIGG was arrested in Woodland, Washington, with three handguns. At today’s hearing U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle ordered TRIGG back to prison saying that for reasons of community safety he was imposing 72 months in prison on the new felon in possession crime, with an additional year in prison for violating the terms of his probation on the earlier crime. Judge Settle noted that there is an increased chance that someone will get hurt or be killed when felons carry guns.

In the original case, TRIGG was arrested in Oregon following a traffic stop in February, 2004. At the time a search of his car revealed a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver, a Colt .38 caliber revolver, and suspected methamphetamine and other suspected unlawful narcotics. TRIGG was already under investigation by law enforcement in western Washington for selling methamphetamine and two handguns to an undercover informant. He has previous felony convictions for drug possession in 1993 and 2000 in Arizona, and in California for Drug Possession and Sale in 1996. When TRIGG was sentenced in 2006 on the illegal gun possession charge, his wife made an impassioned plea that her husband had undergone a remarkable change for the better since his incarceration.

According to court documents, a confidential informant told law enforcement last fall that shortly after TRIGG’s release from federal prison he was attempting to obtain guns. In August 2008 the source told law enforcement that TRIGG said he needed protection since he had been robbed and beaten. The confidential source indicated that TRIGG contacted the source to recover two firearms he had left with the source before going to prison in 2004. The source agreed to deliver the guns to TRIGG at a Starbucks in Woodland, Washington, then contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco & Explosives. Law enforcement officers were watching on October 6, 2008, when TRIGG went to the source’s car parked near the Starbucks and removed a package from the trunk. TRIGG was arrested moments later by the officers, and the package was found to contain a German Makrov 9mm pistol and a Rossi .38 caliber revolver. In the car TRIGG was driving officers found a Taurus 9mm pistol.

TRIGG is being 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 has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and Vancouver’s Career Criminal Apprehension Team. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William H. Redkey, Jr.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206)553-4110.

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