News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Seattle Felon Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison For Drug And Gun Crimes

Defendant Continued to Traffic Oxycodone Following State Arrest and Charges

June 7, 2012

            A repeat offender was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 97 months in prison and five years of supervised release for multiple charges related to gun possession and drug trafficking.  TYRONE HARRIS, 29, of Shoreline, Washington pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and two counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute.  HARRIS was first arrested and charged in King County Superior Court in August 2010.  Before those charges were resolved, in June 2011, HARRIS was arrested again in Thurston County with a load of oxycodone in the trunk of his car.  HARRIS was charged federally in July 2011.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said: “What the defendant has done, what he’s been charged with, and what he’s admitted are very serious crimes.” 

            According to records filed in the case, HARRIS was first arrested in the University District area of Seattle, after a person working with law enforcement set up a drug deal with HARRIS.  After obtaining a search warrant for HARRIS’ home and car, investigators found a hidden compartment under the car’s center cup-holder.  In the compartment law enforcement found a loaded Ruger .380 caliber handgun and a bag containing 200 80 milligram oxycodone pills.  At HARRIS’ home in Shoreline, police found five handguns.  HARRIS is barred from possessing firearms because of his prior convictions for carrying a concealed weapon and attempted illegal possession of a firearm.  HARRIS was booked into the King County Jail.  HARRIS was released from state custody a few days later.  Charges were filed in April 2011.  While those charges were pending, HARRIS was pulled over on June 2, 2011 for speeding on Interstate 5 in Thurston County.  The Washington State Trooper noted a strong odor of marijuana, and had a drug sniffing dog examine the car.  In the trunk troopers found more than 2500 pills of various strengths of oxycodone.

            In asking for the sentence of more than 8 years in prison, prosecutors noted that HARRIS “was clearly engaged in ongoing, extensive, and highly dangerous criminal activity.” 

            The case was investigated by the Auburn Police Department and the Washington State Patrol.  The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs.  Mr. Hobbs is a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute gun crimes in federal court.

            HARRIS 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.

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