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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Friday, June 12, 2015

Denver Tre Seven Crip Gang Member Charged with Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

DENVER – Sean Jovan Swanson, age 29, of Denver, was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and ATF Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey announced.  Swanson, a Tre Seven Crip, was first arrested by the Denver Police Department’s Fugitive Unit.  The case was then adopted by the ATF.  Swanson is in state custody facing assault charges in Denver District Court stemming from an incident where Swanson pistol-whipped a victim, leaving significant facial injuries.  The charges were ordered unsealed on June 11, 2015.

According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, on May 1, 2015, the Denver Police Department (DPD) Fugitive Unit was asked to assist in the apprehension of a potentially violent and dangerous individual identified as Sean Jovan Swanson.  Swanson had an active felony warrant for Aggravated Robbery, stemming from a “home invasion” incident which occurred on May 1, 2015.  On May 5, 2015, the DPD Fugitive Unit responded to the area of the Timbers Hotel.  They  had obtained information that Swanson was likely staying there. 

After conducting surveillance, the DPD Fugitive Unit saw Swanson at the motel lobby, and heard him ask for the key to a particular room.  After additional officers arrived at the scene, the Fugitive Unit  detectives along with uniformed officers approached the motel room door and knocked.  A female answered the door.  At that time, officers saw Swanson attempt to flee through a back patio door.  He changed his mind, and ran back into the motel room.  From there he was taken into custody.  In close proximity to Swanson was a backpack.  In the backpack was a loaded handgun stolen out of Denver.

Swanson had a number of felony convictions prohibiting him from possessing a firearm or ammunition, including:  a) Arapahoe County District Court for Robbery in 2003; b) Denver District Court for Attempted Escape from Felony Pending in 2008; and c) U.S. District Court for being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2011.  Swanson was on federal supervised release on this case at the time of his arrest. 

Swanson faces one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  If convicted on that count he faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.

“As illustrated by this case against defendant Swanson, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ATF and the Denver Police Department use a targeted approach to charging gun cases,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  “We carefully consider the impact of such charges on our relationship with the communities affected by gun violence, and we carefully select for prosecution the people whose criminal activities are having the most impact on those communities. We will continue to maintain and build upon the trust of the community in our focused approach toward making those communities safer.”

“Mr. Swanson continued to carry a firearm and engage in violent activity even while being on supervised release for a federal firearms conviction,” said ATF Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey.  “ATF and our task force partners will continue to have zero tolerance for violent individuals who possess and use firearms.” 

“We have an obligation to the community to keep them safe and removing armed criminals from the street is one way we can assure our citizens’ safety,” said Denver Police Chief Robert White.  “I cannot stress how important it is that we collaborate with the members of the community to combat violent crimes.”  

These cases arise out of the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative, a partnership which includes the Aurora, Denver and Lakewood Police Departments (among others), working in concert with the ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Celeste Rangel.

A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document.  Anyone accused of committing a felony violation of federal law has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury. 

The charges contained in the Criminal Compliant are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 24, 2015