MEDFORD, Ore. - On Monday, May 12, 2014, Senior U.S. District Judge Owen M. Panner sentenced Christopher Darrell Joseph Sage, 49, of Grants Pass, Oregon, to 20 years in federal prison, after he previously pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Sage will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence.
On January 2, 2013, Rogue Area Drug Enforcement Team (RADE) detectives observed Sage enter and leave the Grants Pass apartment of a previously arrested methamphetamine dealer. A Grants Pass patrol unit and a RADE detective followed Sage to a motel parking lot. Sage got out of his pickup and began walking away, ignoring the officers’ multiple commands to stop and take his hands out of his pockets. Sage fought with the officers and had to be tasered three times before he was finally subdued and handcuffed. Officers discovered that Sage was a multiple convicted felon and probation absconder. Officers searched Sage’s truck and found a stolen Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle with two 30 round magazines and several boxes of .223 ammunition, a Remington 12 gauge shotgun, digital gram scales, ziplock plastic baggies, and drug notes. In his coat pocket Sage had a quarter pound of methamphetamine and a handwritten list of firearms.
Under federal law, any person who possesses a firearm or ammunition after being previously convicted of three violent felonies or felony drug trafficking crimes is an Armed Career Criminal and faces a 15 year mandatory minimum prison sentence. Sage is an Armed Career Criminal based upon his prior felony convictions for assault on a police officer (2 counts), and three felony convictions for manufacture of methamphetamine. His criminal history additionally includes previous felony convictions for felon in possession of a firearm, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and possession of methamphetamine, and receiving stolen property, and misdemeanor convictions for forgery, theft, obstructing police, DUII, and reckless driving.
This case was investigated jointly by the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement Team, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Fong.