THREE MEMBERS OF VIOLENT STREET GANG SENT TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR DRUG CRIMES
Two Defendants were at the Scenes of Unsolved Fatal Gang Shootings
Three Seattle men, all members of a violent street gang, were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for crimes that were prosecuted federally in an effort to crack down on gang violence. The men are all members of a unit of the Black Gangster Disciples (BGD). Two of the men were identified as being present at still unsolved fatal gang shootings.
THOMAS L. CALLANDRET, 23, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour to three years in prison and three years of supervised release for Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. CALLANDRET was arrested December 2, 2008, following the November 23, 2008, homicide of a rival gang member at Vito’s nightclub in Seattle. CALLANDRET remains a person of interest in that fatal shooting. At the time he was approached by police, CALLANDRET was observed trying to discard a bag of crack cocaine. Members of the ATF Violent Gang Task Force investigated the case.
DIMITRIUS TINSLEY, 21, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman to six years in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute BZP. On three separate occasions in early 2009, a person working with law enforcement purchased BZP from TINSLEY. BZP is a synthetic substance similar to ecstasy (MDMA). In July 2009, TINSLEY was arrested and law enforcement officers searched his residence, and another home where he often stayed. Inside they found multiple firearms, ammunition, cash, scales and drug residue. During the investigation TINSLEY sold a firearm to another person as well. Law enforcement believes TINSLEY was present at both a fatal gang shooting in January of 2008 at the “Baltic Room” club in downtown Seattle, and the November 23, 2008, gang shooting at Vito’s.
AVERY ROBERTO SCHARER, 23, of Seattle, was a co-conspirator in the BZP distribution. Judge Pechman sentenced him to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release. SCHARER was arrested in July 2009 following two sales of BZP, in SHARER’s car agents found a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol hidden in a diaper bag (Scharer has a young child), together with marijuana, a scale, and packaging materials.
In sentencing memos in each case, Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi described the ongoing gang violence. “Members of the East Union Street Hustlers (EUSH), together with the related BGD set “Deuce-8,” have been involved in much of the recent gang-related violence in the Seattle metropolitan area. EUSH and Deuce-8, both Central District gangs, have been involved in a long-running feud with a number of other gangs, including several gangs from the “South End” of Seattle, as well as the “Low Profile”gang..... These on-going “beefs” have directly resulted in a number of drive-by shootings and other firearm crimes. As a result, this office has aggressively targeted members of EUSH and Deuce-8 for federal prosecution when appropriate,” Mr. Lombardi wrote in his sentencing memo.
The cases were investigated by the ATF Violent Crime Task Force and the FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force. The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi. Mr. Lombardi serves as the Gang Task Force coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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.