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Washington State News


Yakima, WA – On April 4, 2023, United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke sentenced Alexander Scott Stevens, 31, a resident of Yakima, Washington, to seven years in federal prison after his conviction for being a Felon in Possession of Firearms.  Stevens will serve a three-year term of court supervision after he is released from custody.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on January 2, 2022, Yakima Police Department (“YPD”) officers responded to an alarm that had been activated at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Officers observed that someone had severed the chain link fence and cut a hole in the exterior wall of the building.  A subsequent inventory revealed that 18 firearms and a suppressor had been stolen from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  A YPD forensic investigator was able to develop a palm print impression that had been left just above the hole in the exterior wall, and detectives confirmed that Stevens was the source of the palm print impression.  Given the number of firearms involved, YPD referred the case to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) and the case was worked jointly.  On January 24, 2022, Stevens was taken into custody by YPD.  A criminal complaint was filed in federal court and Stevens was taken into custody.  On February 15, 2022, a federal Grand Jury returned an Indictment charging Stevens with being a Felon in Possession of Firearms.

“This case highlights the force multiplier effects of local and federal law enforcement agencies working closely together,” remarked Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.  “I commend YPD and ATF, whose hard work and effective investigation resulted in Mr. Stevens being quickly apprehended, and 18 stolen guns being removed from the hands of a convicted felon. The consistent collaboration of YPD and ATF have made our neighborhoods and communities in Eastern Washington safer and stronger.”

“ATF will do what it takes to get stolen firearms off the streets,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson.  “The brazen actions of Mr. Stevens truly justify this sentence.  It was no small thing to break into a state facility by cutting a hole in the building or to steal more than a dozen firearms.  As a convicted felon, Mr. Stevens was not legally permitted to possess firearms in the first place.”

“Gun violence is a prevalent and continuing threat to society,” stated Yakima Police Department Chief Matthew Murray.  “As we have seen all across the country, violent offenders are using firearms to perpetrate violent crimes that range from robbery to murder.  As a result of the remarkable collaboration between state and federal partners in the Eastern District, justice has again been served. I commend and continue to appreciate the partnerships between YPD, ATF, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

This case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.  PSN is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for violent crime in the Eastern District of Washington and pursue criminal prosecution.  The case was investigated by the Yakima Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Union Gap Police Department, and the Washington State Patrol.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Swensen.