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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Brandon R. Shell, who prosecutors say admitted to being a member of the West Seattle-based West Side Street Mobb gang

22:58 |

Brandon R. Shell, who prosecutors say admitted to being a member of the West Seattle-based West Side Street Mobb gang, pleaded guilty in October to unlawful gun possession charges.Shell, 27, was arrested following a June 6, 2008, shooting that left one man injured in the 1900 block of East Pine Street. Shell, who has not been charged in the shooting, was stopped while riding nearby in a car that appeared to have been recently struck by a ricocheting bullet.According to documents filed in a separate state case, Seattle police were called to the shooting location after several witnesses saw a man -- described as in his 20s with "a pencil-thin mustache" -- fire 18 shots while leaning out the window of a moving car. The car then fled the scene before police arrived.Shortly after the shooting, a 30-year-old Seattle man arrived at Harborview Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his forearm. Interviewed by detectives, the man said he'd been shot while driving in the area. He told officers he had no idea why someone would fire on him.

Police searching nearby for the shooter stopped a car carrying Shell. The car seemed to have been damaged by a ricocheting bullet.

Investigators say they found a 9 mm pistol on the vehicle's floorboards as well as about 30 grams of crack cocaine. Shell's girlfriend bought the pistol at Shell's direction, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ye-Ting Woo said in court documents, because he was barred by law from buying it himself.

"The firearm is directly connected to a serious assault involving a drive-by shooting, for which no motive has yet been determined," Woo told the court. "By engaging in this conduct, the defendant has put at risk the entire community of citizens residing, working, and traveling through the Central District, with little to no regard for the safety of those persons."

Police did not arrest Shell at the time, though he has been jailed since February 2009 on a gun-possession charge. Gang detectives say Shell is an active member of the West Side Street Mobb, a Seattle street gang that has recently seen a string of alleged members sentenced to prison for a variety of offenses including pimping children.Shell was initially charged with faces three federal charges -- felon in possession of a firearm, possession of crack cocaine with intent to deliver and carrying a firearm during the commission of a drug-trafficking crime. He pleaded guilty to a single firearms charge.Sentencing Shell, U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart said he was troubled by the fact that Shell had a firearm, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement issued Wednesday morning."You are your own worst enemy," Robart told Shell, according to the statement. "Your behavior needs to change or you will end up a statistic."Shell was sentenced Tuesday evening at U.S. District Court in Seattle. The case was investigated by the FBI's Puget Sound Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes officers from the Seattle Police Department and U.S. Marshal Service.

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