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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 8, 2018

Lake Charles felon pleads guilty to possessing sawed-off shotgun, drugs

LAKE CHARLES, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that a Lake Charles man previously convicted of a felony pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing a sawed-off shotgun in addition to other firearms and trafficking drugs.

Mark Washington, 45, of Lake Charles, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of possession of a shotgun with a barrel of less than 18 inches in length and one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. According to the guilty plea, members of the Calcasieu Parish Combined Anti-Drug Taskforce responded to a report of drug activity at a home on April 18, 2017 at Hinton Drive in Lake Charles. Upon arriving at the scene, taskforce agents found Washington standing in the driveway of the residence with two men inside a car. Agents searched the residence and found one Sigarms Model 250 semi-automatic pistol with a magazine containing 12 live rounds; one Glock Model 36, .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol containing a magazine with four live rounds; one sawed-off Stevens Model 940E, .410 gauge break-action shotgun; and one sawed-off 20 gauge break-action shotgun of unknown make and model. They also found loose synthetic marijuana on the television stand in the living room, and they located 936 pills, two pink plastic bags of synthetic marijuana, a cigarette pack containing a glass vile with drug residue, a cellophane baggie with five ecstasy pills and $1,145. Washington said he lived in the residence and had bought the guns on the streets. Washington also admitted to being a convicted felon, and that he was not allowed to be around firearms.

Washington faces up to 10 years in prison and a 10,000 fine for the firearms count, and he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the drug count. He also faces up three years of supervised release and forfeiture of the seized weapons. The court set a sentencing date of October 1, 2018.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The ATF and Calcasieu Parish Combined Anti-Drug Taskforce conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert F. Moore is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated June 8, 2018