United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Seattle Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Drug And Gun Crimes
Defendant with Long Criminal History Captured in Oregon After High Speed Chase
A Seattle man, who fled to Oregon after being charged with drug and gun crimes, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. LESTER DANE BLANTON, 29, pleaded guilty September 9, 2011 to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. The firearm charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told BLANTON, “This is really tragic… You are a young man. Use that time to stay away from bad influences.”
According to records filed in the case, BLANTON had two encounters with law enforcement in 2010, which led to the federal charges. In the first instance, in July of 2010, Seattle Police were called to BLANTON’s residence and found him bleeding from the face after being shot with an air rifle. Officers found a rifle on the porch, and inside the front door could see blood and drugs. A court authorized search of the home uncovered significant quantities of methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Just a month later, in August 2010, BLANTON was discovered asleep in a stolen car in the Shoreline area of King County. BLANTON had a firearm in his pants pocket. In the car were significant quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. Police also found stolen laptop computers and other stolen electronics in the car.
BLANTON was originally arrested on state charges. He was released from custody and fled to Oregon. He was seen by a Portland Police officer running a stop sign. A high-speed chase ensued, which resulted in BLANTON crashing his car into a residence, seriously damaging the structure. BLANTON was arrested after a foot chase, and charged with state offenses related to his flight. BLANTON was then returned to Seattle to face federal charges.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi.