Criminal Justice News

Monday, April 30, 2012

Gun Trafficker Identified as Part of the ’Hot Spot’ Initiative in White Center Sentenced to Prison

Sold Guns and Drugs to a Person Working with Law Enforcement

One of approximately 25 federal defendants prosecuted as part of the White Center “Hot Spot” initiative, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years in prison and four years of supervised release for drug distribution and gun crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. JUAN TRINIDAD MIRANDA, 26, of Seattle, is a citizen of Mexico who likely will be deported following his prison term. TRINIDAD MIRANDA pleaded guilty to three counts of being an alien in possession of a firearm and four counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. In July, August and September 2011, TRINIDAD MIRANDA repeatedly sold guns and drugs to a person working with law enforcement. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said, “these are serious crimes, selling drugs and guns.”

According to records filed in the case, TRINIDAD MIRANDA sold cocaine on July 28, and August 11, 2011. On August 15, 2011, TRINIDAD MIRANDA sold the person working with law enforcement cocaine as well as a Ruger pistol. On August 24, 2012 TRINIDAD MIRANDA sold the person an assault rifle and a few days later offered to sell a .22 caliber Uzi. On August 27, the person working with law enforcement purchased a Intratec, model Tec 22, .22 caliber rifle from TRINIDAD MIRANDA. Finally on September 6, 2011, TRINIDAD MIRANDA was arrested as he attempted to sell a kilo of cocaine.

In asking for the five year sentence prosecutors wrote to the court that “Trinidad Miranda repeatedly sold illegal drugs and firearms to a confidential informant. These included two assault&ndashstyle rifles as well as over a kilo of cocaine. Trinidad Miranda committed these crimes while here illegally. Simply put, Trinidad Miranda engaged in egregious and dangerous conduct that puts the entire community at risk.”

“Illicit drug traffickers don–t care about people or communities,” said Kelvin Crenshaw, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Seattle Field Division. “Drug dealers are selfish greedy individuals that care about lining their pockets regardless of consequences. These criminals do nothing but destroy lives, create fear and fuel violent crime and ATF is wholly committed in bringing them to justice.”

The White Center –Hot Spot– initiative targeted law enforcement resources in the White Center area from July to October 2011. The operation focused on illegal gun sales and drug dealing both on the street and in area businesses. In all approximately 50 people were arrested and law enforcement seized 68 guns, 51 lbs of methamphetamine, 2 lbs of crack cocaine and more than 10 lbs of powder cocaine.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The investigation was a coordinated joint effort by ATF, the King County Sheriff–s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), the Seattle Police Department, the King County Metro Transit Police, Washington State Department of Corrections, Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs. Mr. Hobbs is a Senior King County Deputy Prosecutor, specially designated to prosecute firearms cases in federal court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553&ndash4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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