Renton, Washington, man sentenced to 3+ years for bringing box of Molotov cocktails to protest march in summer of 2020
Seattle – A 43-year-old Renton, Washington, man was transferred to federal custody today and charged with drug and gun crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. David Christopher Pitts was initially arrested in December 2021, following an undercover investigation of his drug trafficking activities. Pitts appeared today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge and was ordered detained pending further hearings.
According to records filed in the case, in November and December 2021, a person working with law enforcement purchased fentanyl from Pitts at his residence in Renton. After obtaining a search warrant, officers with the Seattle Police Department SWAT team arrested Pitts without incident and searched his residence. In the main bedroom, officers found three different handguns – one of them stolen. In the closet of the bedroom there was a hard-shell case containing methamphetamine, fentanyl, and Xanax bars. In a safe in that same closet investigators found heroin, cocaine, suboxone, ketamine, fentanyl pills, and medical grade fentanyl. There was also more than $55,000 in cash.
In a second bedroom, which Pitts had been using as a storage space, officers found fifteen handguns, four semiautomatic assault rifles, two bolt action rifles, and a 12-guage shotgun. Throughout the residence, there were numerous items that appeared to be stolen goods, such as power tools, computer equipment, laptops, and camera gear. Many of these items are often traded for drugs.
Due to the amount of drugs involved in this case, possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute is punishable by a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by a consecutive 5-year prison term in addition to any term imposed on the drug crime.
The charges contained in the 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 was investigated by the Seattle Police Department as part of the FBI’s Violent Crime, Gang and Organized Crime Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin H. Becker.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.