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MEMBER OF VIOLENT VANCOUVER STREET GANG SENTENCED TO 8 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DRUG DISTRIBUTION
Defendant Sold Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2010

SHAWN A. GOLDFINCH, 27, of Vancouver, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 8 years in prison and 5 years of supervised release for Distribution of Cocaine and Distribution of Crack Cocaine. GOLDFINCH was arrested September 10, 2009, by members of the Safe Streets Task Force following a number of drug sales in Vancouver, Washington. GOLDFINCH pleaded guilty December 11, 2009. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan imposed the sentence.

According to records in the case, GOLDFINCH sold cocaine in Vancouver, Washington on February 4, 2009 and March 16, 2009. On March 24, 2009, GOLDFINCH sold crack cocaine. The drug deals were captured in audio recordings. Prior to the investigation, GOLDFINCH was identified as a member of the “Nortenos” street gang. The gang formed in the 1960s in California, and across the country gang members are involved in crimes of violence, drug trafficking, firearms violations, extortion, and intimidation.

GOLDFINCH has a criminal history that includes multiple assaults: beating three different victims in two assaults in 2001; beating and slashing a man in 2003; beating two women in 2005; and threatening an ex-girlfriend in 2008.

In asking for a nine year prison term, Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion wrote to the court that GOLDFINCH is a “hardened, vicious gang member,” with twelve criminal convictions since 2001. “Crime and violence seem to be just part of who he is,” Mr. Dion wrote to the court. “Goldfinch’s violence has continued at the Federal Detention Center. On September 22, 2009, Goldfinch punched an inmate in the head for no reason, or almost no reason. He did not like what the man was saying about football,” Mr. Dion wrote in his sentencing memo.

The case was investigated by the Safe Streets Task Force made up of officers and agents of the FBI, Vancouver Police Department (VDP), Clark County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington State Department of Corrections. The Safe Streets Task Force was formed to combat violent gang crime in the Vancouver, Washington area.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion.

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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