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Justice News

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

Friday, January 25, 2013

Seattle Repeat Offender Sentenced to Ten Year Prison Term

Felon Arrested Within Months Of Release From Federal Prison For Crack Dealing

            A repeat offender who was arrested dealing crack cocaine in downtown Seattle was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  DEVIN JENNINGS, 35, had been out of federal prison for only five months when he was arrested for dealing crack cocaine in the 1500 block of Second Avenue in downtown Seattle.  Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman imposed two years of the sentence for supervised release violations on the sentence imposed for his 2004 conviction.   In that case JENNINGS was sentenced to 100 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.  “Your addictions are controlling your decision making,” said Judge Pechman.  “If drugs give you a hair trigger temper… you need to leave them behind.”

            According to records filed in the case, Seattle Police began surveillance of the area around Second and Pike in downtown Seattle because of persistent street drug dealing.  Officers observed JENNINGS selling what appeared to be crack cocaine to multiple customers on August 16, 2012.  JENNINGS was arrested and resisted officers when they attempted to search him.  JENNINGS was told he would be more thoroughly searched at the police station and was placed in the back of an empty patrol car.  En route to the precinct, JENNINGS began kicking violently at the rear passenger door, bending it from its frame.  JENNINGS threatened the officers as they removed him from the car.  On the back seat and floorboards of the car officers discovered crack cocaine that JENNINGS had attempted to discard through the damaged car door.  JENNINGS pleaded guilty in October 2012.

            In asking that JENNINGS be sentenced to ten years in prison, prosecutors wrote to the court, that JENNINGS “has now been convicted of ten felony offenses and nearly twice as many non-felony offenses.  In light of Jennings’ extremely long, and often times violent, criminal history, the United States believes that a substantial term of imprisonment is appropriate.  We also believe that the seriousness of the offense also warrants a lengthy sentence.  While the offense did not involve a large quantity of drugs, the amount of crack cocaine was substantial.  Moreover, the fact that he returned to dealing drugs so quickly after his release from prison is concerning, as was his post-arrest behavior (i.e., damaging the patrol car, threatening the arresting officers, etc.).  Unfortunately, Jennings continues to be a person the community needs to be protected from.”

            The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Colasurdo.

Updated March 24, 2015