United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
U.S. Attorney Reports to White Center Community on 'Hot Spot' Initiative
Twenty-one Defendants Sentenced to Prison
U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan reported to the White Center Community today about law enforcement efforts to enhance the safety of the community. In the fall of 2011, White Center was the focus of a coordinated 'Hot Spot' initiative, designed to bring concerted law enforcement and community resources together in one geographic area.
The multi-agency, federal and local law enforcement operation, called “Center of Attention,” that ended in late October 2011, focused on violent offenders who used White Center to engage in criminal activity. The King County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have been working hard with our law enforcement partners to bring those offenders to justice.
Among the 25 federal defendants, nearly all have now been convicted and sentenced. Two dozen have pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, including the successful prosecution of an armed career criminal just before the end of the year. That defendant, Michael Gradney, faces a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence.
To date, 21 defendants have been sentenced to prison, including significant prison time for defendants selling large amounts of dangerous drugs and firearms. In fact, the total amount of prison time that judges have imposed on the federal Center of Attention defendants is nearly 1400 months, or 115 years.
Here are two of the press releases announcing significant sentences:
Of the 26 state prosecutions, some have resulted in guilty findings while many are still pending. State prosecutors are pursuing convictions and sentences in line with the goals of “Center of Attention.”
In addition to “Center of Attention” defendants, the owner of the former G.A.M.E. marijuana lounge pleaded guilty to a federal felony and was sentenced to six months of federal probation. Federal probation is very rigorous, with close supervision by a federal probation officer and the possibility of prison time for up to three years if the defendant does not follow the probationary conditions. Judge Ricardo Martinez indicated he would be watching very closely to ensure the owner of G.A.M.E. did not violate any conditions of his probation.
And, just last week, as part of our ongoing enforcement efforts, prosecutors in our office convicted a man who committed an armed robbery of the Chase bank located at SW 100th Street and 16th Avenue.