News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Camano Island Man Sentenced To 78 Months In Prison For Multi-State Crime Spree

Burglary Victim Travels From South Dakota to Speak at Sentencing Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2012

            COLTON HARRIS-MOORE, 20, of Camano Island, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release for seven federal felonies, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  In June 2011, HARRIS-MOORE pleaded guilty to bank burglary, two counts of interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, interstate and foreign transportation of a stolen firearm, being a fugitive in possession of a firearm, piloting an aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate, and interstate transportation of a stolen vessel in connection with his lengthy crime spree in the Pacific Northwest and across the United States to Indiana, ending in the Bahamas.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones noted that HARRIS-MOORE had endangered others with his “reckless conduct... and a host and variety of poor choices.”  The Judge told him it was time for a “new life flight plan.”

            Judge Jones ordered that HARRIS-MOORE’s federal sentence be served concurrent with the 87-month sentence imposed in Island County Superior Court December 16, 2011, and also ordered that the federal sentence be served consecutive to the juvenile sentence that HARRIS-MOORE escaped from in 2008.

            “Today Colton Harris-Moore heard from his victims, and from Judge Jones, how his criminal conduct damaged other lives.  We hope he will take those words to heart and truly make changes in his life,” said U. S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “This prison sentence, and the rigorous federal supervision that follows, will be an opportunity for him to prove that he can move in a positive path.”

The federal plea agreement details a long string of crimes including multiple car thefts and burglaries – including one in Yankton County, South Dakota where HARRIS-MOORE threatened a homeowner after breaking into his house.  That homeowner traveled from South Dakota to attend today’s hearing.  He described how he and his family arrived home from vacation at 3:00 a.m. to discover COLTON HARRIS-MOORE in their home. HARRIS-MOORE threatened to shoot the homeowner.  The man described how his four children were frightened, and over the next year had trouble sleeping in their own rooms, or coming home after dark.

            The first charged criminal act in the plea agreement is the September 5, 2009 burglary of Islanders Bank in Eastsound, Washington.  HARRIS-MOORE admits he attempted to break into the ATM and night deposit box at the bank, using tools he had stolen from the Ace Hardware store in Eastsound.  He did more than $1,000 in damage.  Following the bank burglary, HARRIS-MOORE traveled to Creston, British Columbia, Canada.  He stole a .32 caliber pistol and carried it with him as he crossed back into the United States.  On September 29, 2009, HARRIS-MOORE stole a Cessna aircraft from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and flew the plane to a location near Granite Falls, Washington, where it crashed.  HARRIS-MOORE also admits he stole a second firearm, a .22 caliber pistol, during a burglary near Granite Falls, Washington.  HARRIS-MOORE carried that pistol with him to a hiding place in the Eastsound Airport on Orcas Island, Washington.

            HARRIS-MOORE admits that on February 10, 2010, he piloted an aircraft without an airman’s certificate during a flight he made in a stolen plane from Anacortes to Eastsound, Washington.  He admits that on May 31, 2010, he stole a 34 foot boat, and traveled from Ilwaco, Washington, to Warrenton, Oregon.

            The statement of facts in the plea agreement recounts HARRIS-MOORE’s long string of thefts and burglaries across the U.S., multiple car thefts in Idaho and Wyoming; burglaries, thefts and auto thefts in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Indiana, including multiple burglaries at small airports.  Finally, on July 4, 2010, HARRIS-MOORE stole his last aircraft from a hangar in Bloomington, Indiana.  He crash landed the aircraft when it ran out of fuel on Abaco Island in the Bahamas.  He was arrested in the Bahamas a few days later.

            The FBI is the lead federal agency investigating the case.  The FBI was assisted by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, as well as numerous state and local law enforcement agencies from across the country.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Darwin Roberts, Mike Dion and Richard E. Cohen.  Attorneys with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana assisted with the case.

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