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Press Release

Repeat offender convicted of being an armed drug dealer in Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Felon carried handgun with laser sight while visiting bar; Crack cocaine and MDMA found in vehicle

Seattle – A repeat offender who was identified by Seattle police in a 2017 drug trafficking investigation was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of three federal felonies, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  JONATHAN RUSHING, 40, was convicted  following a three-day trial of possession of crack cocaine and MDMA with intent to distribute, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.   This is RUSHING’s fourth conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  RUSHING is scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly on January 23, 2020.

RUSHING was identified during an investigation into a drug distribution ring operating in downtown Seattle on the evening of November 8, 2017.  RUSHING was observed meeting with known members of the drug distribution group and then returning to the passenger side of a car he had parked near Pioneer Square.  After sitting on the passenger side of the sedan near the glove box for about 20 minutes, RUSHING went to a bar in Pioneer Square.  When RUSHING left the bar, uniformed Seattle Police officers approached RUSHING in order to identify him.  RUSHING took off running, but was arrested a few blocks away.  RUSHING had a Glock firearm in a holster inside his waistband.  The Glock had a laser sight and flashlight attached.  When authorities searched the car RUSHING was driving, they found dealer amounts of crack cocaine and MDMA hidden in a sock in the glove box.

After RUSHING was arrested that November night, he left the Seattle area and was a fugitive when the drug trafficking organization was indicted on February 13, 2018.  RUSHING was ultimately arrested in February 2019, in Moreno Valley, California on a warrant from the U.S. Marshal Service.  RUSHING fought with local officers who subdued him following a traffic stop.

RUSHING has an extensive criminal history, including a 1997 conviction in King County Superior Court for second-degree murder, when he shot and killed an individual in downtown Seattle during a drug transaction.  He has King County convictions for illegally possessing firearms in 1996 and1997, and a federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm from 2012.  Rushing was arrested in this case only two months after completing his term of supervision from his 2012 federal conviction for firearm possession. 

Because of the conviction for carrying of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense, RUSHING faces a mandatory five-year term to run consecutive to the sentence handed down for the drug and felon in possession conviction.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved.

The case is being investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kate Vaughan, Tobias Tobler and Vince Lombardi.


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

Updated October 31, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
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