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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Long-Time Gang Member Sentenced to Nearly 8 Years in Prison for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Defendant Shot and Wounded in Ambush at Renton Gas Station in 2014

          A long-time member of a south Seattle street gang was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 92 months in prison, and three years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. SAMUEL N. REZENE, 30, denies his gang membership, but has a lengthy criminal history involving drug trafficking, promoting prostitution and firearms. REZENE was the target of multiple shooting incidents including one in February 2012, when REZENE’s then girlfriend was shot and killed while riding in the car REZENE was driving. At the sentencing hearing today U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said whether or not REZENE is a gang member, “he has chosen a life of crime and has been involved in multiple dangerous situations.”

 

          “Today, the violence that has surrounded this defendant for more than five years comes to an end,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Law enforcement has traced numerous drive-by shootings – one of them deadly – to the violence this defendant embraced. By sending this defendant to prison for illegally possessing firearms, the community will be protected from further violence and the devastation that always follows in its wake.”

 

          According to records filed in the case, in 2011 and 2013, REZENE and one or more associates were involved in two different drug robberies of rival gangsters. In retaliation for these robberies, REZENE, his home and vehicles were repeatedly the targets of drive-by shootings. In retaliation, REZENE’s associates shot up a business associated with the rival gang. On May 15, 2014, REZENE was shot multiple times while at a gas station in Renton. REZENE grabbed a gun from the center console of his car and attempted to return fire, and then collapsed. REZENE was taken to Harborview Medical Center and survived the shooting. His assailant has never been found. At the time of the shooting REZENE had multiple felony convictions, including convictions for drug trafficking, illegal firearms possession, promoting prostitution, and attempting to elude a police vehicle. These convictions prohibit him from possessing a firearm.

 

         Even after the May 2014 shooting at the gas station, REZENE continued his violent ways. After being released from the hospital, law enforcement spotted him shooting at a business associated with a rival gang in October 2014. REZENE was sentenced to 31 months in state custody for a related firearms offense. He was charged federally in December 2014 and was found guilty at a bench trial in May 2017.

 

          The case was investigated by the Renton Police Department and the Seattle Police Department with assistance from the FBI.

 

          The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Greenberg and Stephen Hobbs.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated September 12, 2017