Lights & Sirens

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Federal case against accused Tacoma gang member dismissed

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Oct. 22, 2010 at 11:37 am |
October 22, 2010 11:50 am

The federal case has been dismissed against one of the men accused in a large-scale crackdown on alleged members of a Tacoma street gang.

James R. Henry Jr., 30, had been charged in federal court as an “armed career criminal” with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers found a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol in February in his Tacoma home during a search. Henry has been convicted of four previous felonies and is forbidden from possessing a gun.

Earlier this month, Henry’s attorney challenged the search warrant used to find the evidence against Henry.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton agreed the search warrant and the declaration in support of it were inadequate, Henry’s attorney, Tom Cena, said. Leighton issued a ruling, suppressing the evidence earlier this month.

Leighton dismissed the count against Henry on Thursday and Henry was released from custody.

“It’s a very good outcome for him,” Cena said today.

Pierce County prosecutors are weighing their options against Henry.

“It is our goal to hold all of these gang members and associates accountable,” deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen said.

Henry was one of 36 alleged members of the Hilltop Crips charged in February with a series of crimes after a law enforcement crackdown against the gang. He originally faced one count of criminal conspiracy in Pierce County Superior Court but the charge was dismissed and his case transferred to federal court.

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