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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Puyallup, Washington repeat offender charged federally with being a felon in possession of a firearm

Illegally possessed firearms in Montana and Washington—Aspiring rapper posted images on social media

Tacoma – A 25- year-old Puyallup resident who has long associations with a Lakewood, Washington street gang, made his initial appearance March 30, 2020 in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms.  DESHAWN WEST was ordered detained at the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac.  WEST had been in state custody since his arrest on February 14, 2020.

According to the criminal complaint, WEST, an aspiring rapper, posted multiple pictures on social media showing him holding firearms.  Some of the guns had extended magazines and one appeared to be modified for rapid fire.  On October 1, 2019, WEST was arrested near Big Sandy, Montana for failing to comply with the terms of his Washington State Department of Corrections probation.  In the vehicle with WEST was a firearm that appeared to match one WEST was holding in various social media videos.  At the time WEST’s girlfriend claimed the firearm belonged to her.

On February 12, 2020, WEST again posted videos to social media showing him holding firearms.  On February 14, 2020, members of the FBI’s South Sound Gang Task Force served a search warrant on WEST’s Puyallup residence.  WEST was taken into custody without incident, and in the apartment law enforcement located two firearms, extended magazines and ammunition.

WEST is prohibited from possession firearms due to felony convictions including assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm (2014) and assault (2018). 

Being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s South Sound Gang Task Force in close coordination with the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Washington State Department of Corrections.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Manca.

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated April 2, 2020