Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vancouver Repeat Offender Gets Nine Year Prison Term for Illegal Gun Possession

Defendant Admits Possessing Gun for Protection while Dealing Methamphetamine

A Vancouver, Washington man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to nine 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. DUSTY L. BARTLETT, 37, pleaded guilty February 8, 2012. BARTLETT was arrested July 2, 2011, following a traffic stop by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. BARTLETT was wearing a shoulder holster for a firearm, and a gun was later discovered in the center console of the car he was driving. BARTLETT was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of numerous prior felony convictions in Washington State. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said that “the most important concern here is protecting the public.”

According to records filed in the case, BARTLETT was pulled over for a traffic violation. The sheriff’s deputies discovered there were warrants out for his arrest and he was taken into custody. The arresting officers noticed that BARTLETT wore an empty shoulder holster under his jacket. As they were preparing for the vehicle to be towed, officers saw a Taurus 9 mm semi-automatic pistol sitting in plain view in the center console of the car. After obtaining a search warrant, officers discovered methamphetamine hidden in a compartment behind the dash board. BARTLETT was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of prior felony convictions including: armed robbery, 1990; unlawful possession of a firearm 1996; possession of methamphetamine while armed with a firearm, 1996; assault in 2002 and 2008; and theft 2010.

BARTLETT was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level—in this case, in Clark County—has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion.

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