Justice Department Recognizes Human Trafficking Survivor and Advocate from Washington with Special Courage Award
A repeat offender with a long history of domestic violence was sentenced today to ten years in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. HERBERT D. ZENO, 32, a known gang member from the Vancouver, Washington area was convicted following a three day jury trial in November of 2013. ZENO was arrested and booked into the Clark County Jail on January 31, 2013. ZENO was charged federally on February 19, 2013. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said, “You are a walking, talking crime wave…you are a bully and a predator.”
According to testimony presented at trial, on the same day of his arrest on state charges, ZENO tried to get his girlfriend to hide a firearm he had left in his car. When a court-authorized search warrant was served at ZENO’s home and a relative’s home, the firearm was discovered hidden under a dresser. ZENO has eight prior felony convictions including drug possession (2003 and 2005), robbery (2002), and illegal firearm possession (2002). ZENO has five prior convictions for domestic violence. ZENO’s prior convictions bar him from possessing firearms. ZENO has tattoos identifying him as a Bloods gang member, and the firearm was found wrapped in a red Bloods bandana – a sign of his ownership.
In asking for a ten year prison term, prosecutors told the court, “This case is the fourth time Zeno has been convicted of unlawful firearm possession. It is dangerous for any felon to possess a gun. When the felon is a man like Zeno – a gang member with a history of brutal violence – it is simply terrifying. His conduct in this case is a continuation of Zeno’s patterns – his pattern of crime, his pattern of gun possession, his pattern of abuse and exploitation of the women in his life.”
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which contains officers from the Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) assisted with the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Dion and former Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Bates.