United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Repeat Pierce County Offender Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Being An Armed Career Criminal
Defendant with Stolen Gun Led Police on High Speed Chase in Stolen Car
A felon with a history of gun and drug crimes was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 20 years in prison for being an armed career criminal in possession of a stolen firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. DANA LEON BROOKS, 38, of Pierce County was arrested after a high-speed chase in a stolen car. BROOKS was taken into custody when he slammed into another car when he ran a red light at an intersection. Fortunately, the innocent driver survived the crash. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said the lengthy sentence was to protect the public and deter BROOKS from his conduct.
BROOKS was spotted by a Lakewood Police Officer in the early morning hours of June 17, 2010. The car BROOKS was driving had been reported stolen. BROOKS took off in the car going 80 MPH on residential streets. He drove through intersections, running red lights until he finally crashed the car into another vehicle. BROOKS was partially ejected from the vehicle, and at his waist, officers could see a holstered firearm. The gun was loaded. It had been reported stolen. BROOKS was taken to the hospital to recover. Before he was healed he escaped from the hospital and was on the run for two months before he was apprehended by law enforcement.
Following a two day jury trial in September 2011, BROOKS was found guilty of being an armed career criminal in possession of a stolen firearm. BROOKS has prior convictions in Pierce County Superior Court for drug trafficking in 1996 and two burglary convictions in 1992.
In asking for a lengthy sentence prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo, “The defendant’s car was a weapon of mass destruction, and he shot through this community on the cusp of the morning commute determined to elude capture and indifferent to the innocent pedestrians that might cross his path. He not only placed civilians at grave risk but he also endangered the lives of the honorable officers who were simply doing their job in trying to apprehend him.”
BROOKS was 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 -- in this case, in Pierce County-- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.
The case was investigated by the Lakewood Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Jesse Williams and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Thomas. Mr. Williams is a Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor, specially designated to prosecute firearms cases in federal court.