News and Press Releases

Felon Investigated for Drive-By Shooting

February 17, 2010

BRANDON R. SHELL, 27, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced late yesterday to 50 months in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. SHELL was charged federally in May 2009, following a drive-by shooting in June 2008. SHELL had been in custody at the King County Jail before he was taken into federal custody. SHELL is an admitted member of the West Side Mobb street gang. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said he was deeply troubled by the fact that SHELL had a firearm. “You are your own worst enemy, “ Judge Robart told SHELL. “Your behavior needs to change or you will end up a statistic,” the Judge said.

According to records 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 Mobb.” The car was impounded and later searched. A Hi-Point Firearms 9mm Luger pistol was found under the seat. 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 claimed he did not know who had shot at him, or why he had been targeted. The fired cartridges from the Hi-Point 9mm Luger were recovered from the Taurus sedan, the scene of the shooting, and the victim’s car. SHELL, by his plea, admitted that he possessed the Hi-Point 9mm Luger at the time the Taurus sedan was stopped by the police.

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.

In asking for a significant sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo wrote to the court, “The defendant has a lengthy criminal history, which include a prior assault crime, drug crimes, and unlawful firearm possession. He recruited his girlfriend to purchase a firearm for him to conceal his possession of the firearm. He is a self-admitted gang member with the West Seattle Street Mobb. The firearm is directly connected to a serious assault involving a drive-by shooting, for which no motive has yet been determined. By engaging in this conduct, the defendant has put at risk the entire community of citizens residing, working, and traveling through the Central District, with little to no regard for the safety of those persons.”

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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo.

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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