United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Repeat Offender Gets Long Prison Term For Illegal Gun Possession
Seattle Man has Lengthy History of Gun and Gang Violence
A Seattle man who escaped from a half-way house and was arrested with a stolen firearm was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 12 and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release for escape and possession of a stolen firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. DONTAY D. FLETCHER, 40, of Seattle was arrested in September 2010, following his August 2010 escape from a federal Bureau of Prisons half-way house in Seattle. FLETCHER was arrested outside a South Seattle convenience store with a Bryco Arms Model 38, .380 caliber pistol in the waistband of his trousers. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told him, “What you did was incredibly dangerous… I’m actually amazed you’re alive.”
According to records filed in the case, FLETCHER has a lengthy criminal history including assault and illegal firearm possession in 1993 when he pistol whipped one victim during a robbery and fired shots at another victim in a separate incident. In 2000, he was convicted of harassment, and in 2002 was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. While in prison in Texas, FLETCHER attempted to smuggle heroin into the prison and had his sentence increased by nearly three more years. In all FLETCHER has two dozen prior convictions.
In asking for a significant sentence of more than 12 years, prosecutors wrote to the court that FLETCHER “has a well-established history of gang affiliation, possessing firearms, and using guns to threaten, assault, and rob others. That history includes both pistol-whipping individuals and shooting at them. In the present case, while completing a federal sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm, Fletcher escaped from a halfway house and, once more, immediately armed himself. Fletcher’s conduct presented an extremely serious risk to law enforcement (who Fletcher knew would be seeking him), to bystanders who might be present when law enforcement located Fletcher, and to any other members of the public whom Fletcher might choose to threaten or attack in the meantime.”
FLETCHER 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 King County-- has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.
The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew Friedman and Steven Masada.