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Press Release

Former Federal Detention Officer sentenced to prison for illegal firearm possession and obstruction of justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Federal Detention Center employee lied repeatedly, violating court orders

Seattle – An employee at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Detention Center (FDC) at SeaTac, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for two federal felonies related to his conduct outside of his employment, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.  Joshua Adam Shuemake, 37, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for illegal firearm possession, and obstruction of justice.  Shuemake was convicted in September 2022 following a four-day jury trial. At today’s sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said the victim of Shumake’s conduct was the justice system. “It’s not just the illegal possession of a firearm, it’s that you chose to ignore a judge’s order and you encouraged people lie… You can’t have a firearm and can’t come to court and lie,” Judge Jones said.

“Mr. Shuemake made relentless and deliberate efforts to undermine the administration of justice,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “He lied in King County court, to federal investigators, and to his employer.  Mr. Shuemake encouraged witnesses to lie under oath in federal proceedings.  Such conduct by a federal law enforcement officer is particularly egregious.”

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, following a domestic violence incident in April 2021, a King County judge barred Shuemake from possessing dangerous weapons, including firearms, and ordered him to surrender all firearms.  Shuemake signed a statement under oath saying he had no firearms.  However, evidence at trial showed Shuemake working as a restaurant and bar security guard, and despite the court order, he was seen on surveillance video multiple times with a firearm in a holster on his hip. When law enforcement searched the apartment where they observed Shuemake living, they found a handgun in the closet. The gun had Shuemake’s DNA on the grip.  Shuemake tried to claim he lived at a different address, and then pressured friends to lie to investigators about how the gun came to be in the apartment.

At the time of the FBI investigation into Shuemake’s gun possession, the Bureau of Prisons was investigating him for a sexual relationship with a female inmate.  Shumake was also being scrutinized for sharing information about inmates that resulted in assaults on some of those housed at the FDC.

Even after his conviction, Shuemake continued to violate court orders by wearing clothing identifying himself as law enforcement while working private security jobs.  Judge Jones ordered Shuemake to serve 72 hours in King County Jail for violating his bond.

Prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memo Shumake “attempted to exploit the implicit trust within the judicial system that is conferred upon sworn law enforcement officers. And yet, Shuemake not only failed to meet the basic minimum standard of being a law-abiding citizen, but he also fell woefully short of the ethical standards of a federal law enforcement officer by undermining the administration of justice at every turn.”

Shuemake was on unpaid leave from the Bureau of Prisons pending the outcome of this case.  His employment has now been terminated.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Manca, Cindy Chang, and Ye-Ting Woo.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated December 16, 2022

Firearms Offenses