Prosecution of Keemo Lee Comes as Part of Western District of Virginia’s Ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative to Reduce Violent Crime
Danville, VIRGINIA – A federal court today sentenced Keemo Jonathan Lee, a Danville man who previously pleaded guilty to a series of federal drug and gun charges related to the sale of cocaine, heroin and illegal firearms, to 37 months in federal prison. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen made the announcement as part of the Western District of Virginia’s ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative to reduce violent crime.
Lee, 23, pleaded guilty on August 7, 2018, to three counts of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, two counts of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute heroin, and two counts of the sale of a firearm to a prohibited person.
“As this prosecution indicates, we are committed to working with our federal, state, and local law-enforcement partners through our Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative to reduce violent crime in Danville,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated. “We have made progress towards this goal over the past several months, but will continue our coordinated assault until we achieve a significant and lasting reduction.”
According to a statement of facts read into the record at a previous hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Rachel Swartz, should the matter have gone to trial the United States would have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that on multiple occasions, officers with the Danville Police Department, utilizing a confidential source, made controlled purchases of cocaine, heroin, and illegal firearms from Lee.
One such controlled purchase, on June 29, 2017, was conducted at a gas station 326 feet from Danville Community College and 908 feet from Grove Park Preschool’s playground. During the June 29, 2017 controlled buy, Lee sold a confidential source 3.2 grams of cocaine and a Smith & Wesson M&P .40 Shield handgun, with ammunition, for $500.
On July 25, 2017, during another controlled purchase, Lee sold a confidential source cocaine and a SCCY CPX-1 handgun for $400. After Lee changed locations for the transaction multiple times, the exchange ultimately took place 726 feet from Danville Community College.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Danville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Rachel Swartz prosecuted the case for the United States.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a federal program designed to bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN was reinvigorated in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting each community’s most violent criminals.
The Department of Justice directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the local civilian community, to develop effective, targeted strategies to reduce violent crime. This case is a product of that collaborative effort.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Thursday, November 8, 2018.