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Press Release

Washington man charged for International District drive-by shooting and possession of drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant was previously convicted of drug distribution; was located with out of state firearm and drugs

Seattle – A 48-year-old man with ties to Seattle was charged federally with unlawful possession of a firearm and other offenses after he was arrested for a drive-by shooting in Seattle’s International District, announced US Attorney Nick Brown. Phuong Nguyen Le, appeared today on the indictment. In February 2023 Le was allegedly found with fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine base. Le has been in custody in King County and today was brought over for arraignment on the federal charges.

On February 24, 2023, Seattle Police officers responded to reports of shots fired at the intersection of 10th Avenue South and South King Street in Seattle. Witnesses at the scene reported a man in a white Mercedes fired a handgun in the air multiple times at the intersection. SPD officers then located the vehicle nearby and found Phuong Nguyen Le driving, with his girlfriend in the passenger seat. Le was the owner of the vehicle. Le ultimately gave consent to search the vehicle. SPD officers seized the following items:

  • a Springfield Armory XD-9 9mm caliber pistol, bearing serial number BY348001, with a round of ammunition in the chamber and a partially loaded magazine;
  • an additional Springfield Armory 9mm caliber magazine loaded with ammunition;
  • two spent bullet shell casings;
  • approximately 83 grams of heroin;
  • approximately 135 grams of cocaine;
  • approximately 194 grams of suspected fentanyl powder;
  • approximately 350 pills suspected to contain fentanyl;
  • multiple cloth zipper bags containing approximately $4,400 in mixed denominations;
  • various baggies;
  • large amounts of handwritten names and phone numbers written on
  • various documents;
  • A notebook containing names.

In April of 2012, Le was convicted of distribution of cocaine base in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In September of 2020, Le was sentenced to two years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of drugs.

Unlawful possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment. Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute is punishable by up to 40 years imprisonment. Carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime is punishable by up to life in imprisonment.

The charges contained in the indictment 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 Seattle Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Wynne.


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

Updated May 2, 2023

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