Colorado Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm


DENVER (LAWFUEL) – William Henry Smith, age 52, of Adams County, Colorado, was sentenced last Friday, October 10, 2008, by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn to serve 180 months (15 years) in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Troy Eid and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive Special Agent in Charge Richard Chase announced today. Smith was remanded into custody to begin serving his sentence immediately. Judge Blackburn also ordered Smith to serve 5 years of Supervised Release once he is released from prison.

William Henry Smith was charged by Criminal Complaint on June 21, 2007. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 10, 2007. He pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm on June 20, 2008. He was sentenced on October 10, 2008.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on May 1, 2007, a Colorado State Patrol Trooper pulled over a Dodge pickup truck which was registered to and being driven by Smith. The officer noticed Smith had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of alcohol. Smith failed to perform a roadside sobriety test, so the officer gave Smith a roadside breathalyzer test, which resulted in a .170 blood alcohol reading. Smith was placed under arrest for driving under the influence. A subsequent search of Smith’s Dodge truck after his arrest revealed a Bursa, .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol and two magazines holding .380 caliber ammunition. Officers also found a Raven .25 caliber pistol loaded with four rounds of .25 caliber ammunition. The Bursa, .380 had an obliterated serial number.

The investigation continued, finding that Smith had been convicted of four felony crimes. The crimes resulted in Smith being sentenced as an Armed Career Criminal. Smith had been convicted of:

1. A 1991 conviction for Manslaughter and Second Degree Assault in Denver.

2. A 1980 conviction for First Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft in Denver.

3. A 1975 conviction for Robbery in the First Degree in Long Beach, California.

4. A 1986 conviction for Robbery with a Prior Felony and Accessory in Compton, California.

“Convicted felons forfeit their legal right to keep and bear arms,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.

“The sentencing of Smith clearly demonstrates the diligence of the Colorado State Patrol, ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in targeting the criminals that make a career out of preying on our communities,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Richard Chase.

This case was investigated by the ATF and the Colorado State Patrol.

Smith was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Conner.

This case is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.

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