News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Felon Sentenced To 5+ Years In Prison For Trafficking High Powered Weapons

Defendant with Gang Ties Sold Eight Guns to Person Working with Law Enforcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2013

            A convicted felon who trafficked in multiple high powered firearms, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 66 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Unlawfully Deal in Firearms and being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  JOSHUA DAWSON, 21, is one of six Seattle area men, indicted in April 2012 following a firearms trafficking investigation.  The men sold guns to a person working with law enforcement in the Renton, Washington area.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said, “You were directly involved in providing firearms that would hit the streets without any concern of where they would go or how they would be used.”

            “Getting firearms out of the hands of felons and off our streets is one of our top priorities,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “I commend the creative and coordinated work by local and federal law enforcement to infiltrate this criminal gang that was trafficking the high powered weapons that fuel violence in our community.”

DAWSON was indicted following an undercover investigation involving the Seattle Police Department Gang Unit, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).  The firearms that were sold as part of the conspiracy were very dangerous weapons.  They included handguns, shotguns, semi-automatic rifles with large capacity magazines and scopes, stolen firearms, and weapons tied to crimes of violence.  When he pleaded guilty in June 2012, DAWSON admitted selling eight guns between January and March 2012: a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver; a Mac 11 9mm pistol; an SKS 7.62 assault rifle; a Romarm/Cugir, 7.62 x 39mm caliber rifle; a DPMS, .223/5.56mm caliber rifle; an Olympic Arms, multi rifle with a silencer; a Weatherby, 7mm caliber rifle; and a Maadi, 7.62 x 39mm caliber rifle.  In all in this operation, 25 guns were taken off the street, many of which were previously reported stolen.  DAWSON has prior convictions for robbery and theft.  When officers went to arrest him in April 2012, DAWSON fled in his car, crashing into multiple other vehicles.  When he was taken into custody, officers located a loaded Kel-Tec model PF-9, 9mm pistol in the glove compartment of his car.

“I want to congratulate the dedicated agents, officers and detectives who worked this investigation,” said Kelvin Crenshaw, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Seattle Field Division.  “Thanks to their efforts a convicted felon who chose to peddle high powered weapons on the streets of Seattle is now behind bars and no longer a threat.  ATF is dedicated and resolute in the fight against violent crime and we will never rest in the pursuit of those who would threaten the safety and security of our communities.”  

“As we did in this case, the FBI will continue to work hand-in-hand with our partners, sharing resources to target those who would facilitate putting dangerous weapons in the hands of criminals,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Steven M. Dean.  “This partnership is committed to reducing the drug- and gang-related violence in our communities.”  

Prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo that “…those who possess and sell firearms illegally bear some of the responsibility for the resulting violence that occurs.  The illegal sale of firearms only serves to flood the area with weapons that are difficult, if not impossible, to accurately track.  Given the dangerousness that these weapons present, and the very real possibility that weapons sold illegally could subsequently be used in other crimes, trafficking in firearms presents unique risks.”

Five others were prosecuted as part of the case: Andre M. Conerly, 26, was sentenced to 96 months in prison; Daunte R. Williams, 29, was sentenced to 78 months in prison; James L. Henderson, 22, was sentenced to five years in prison; Alexander J. Olivio-Altheimer, 21, was sentenced to four years in prison; and Djuan O. Gardner, 28, was sentenced to 70 months in prison.

The case was jointly investigated by the FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force, the Seattle Police Department Gang Unit, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Brown.

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