Seattle Charges for Possession of a Destructive Device
by Lewis & Laws
According to The Seattle Times, a 21-year-old Edmonds man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for setting fire to two police cars during last summer’s protests in downtown Seattle. Kelly Thomas Jackson used Molotov cocktails to set fire to the police vehicles in the midst of the George Floyd racism riots and alleged police violence. Jackson was clearly identified, via video and by witnesses who saw him throw the Molotov cocktails. Jackson was arrested days after the incident after being identified in surveillance videos due to his unique clothing and other “identifying marks.”
As the judge handed down a 40-month prison sentence, he said the actions of Jackson both interfered and disrupted “legal, peaceful protests.” Judge James Robart added that throwing incendiary devices at police cars was an extremely dangerous action. The Washington U.S. Attorney for the Western District also made a point of saying that Jackson disrupted peaceful protests and caused danger to others at the protest, as well as to police officers.
Jackson’s defense attorney claimed Jackson has substance abuse issues, bipolar disorder, and has never been involved in anything illegal before. A number of Jackson’s neighbors submitted letters to the court asking for leniency. Jackson’s internet activity was accessed by the police, showing he acquired information online regarding how to construct a Molotov cocktail.
What is Possession of a Destructive Device in Washington State?
Under 9-32-010, any possession, use, storage, or manufacture of destructive devices that have the capability of causing injury to a human being or damage to property is a violation of this code. Destructive devices can include the following (but are not limited to these items):
- Any type of bomb
- Any rocket that has a propellant charge of more than four ounces
- Any type of grenade
- Any missile that has an explosive charge of more than ¼ of an ounce
- Any type of booby trap
- Any type of dangerous chemicals
- A Molotov cocktail
- Certain projectile devices
Destructive devices and dangerous weapons are any items deemed too dangerous to be carried in public. Destructive devices and dangerous weapons cannot be furtively carried with intent to conceal.
Under Washington State laws, Possession of a Destructive Device is punishable by up to ten years in prison, while arson is punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison—and up to 20 years in prison. In this particular case, the defendant pled guilty to two charges of possession of a destructive device, although he was initially charged with arson. After serving his three years in federal prison, Jackson will additionally serve three years of supervised release when he is released from prison.
If you have been charged with a serious crime like Possession of a Destructive Device or Arson, you are facing serious prison time. These criminal offenses can be charged and prosecuted on the federal level, which makes them even more serious. It is never a good idea to attempt to defend yourself when you have been charged with a serious Seattle criminal offense. Many people fail to take the charges seriously, believing once they tell “their side” of the story, they will be allowed to go home.
This is virtually never the case. Law enforcement is trained to obtain information from suspects—and they are very good at their jobs. If you are arrested, make sure you do not speak to anyone until you have secured legal representation. Once your attorney arrives, make sure you follow his or her advice to the letter. Your attorney will work hard to protect your rights and your future after you are charged with a Seattle criminal offense.
Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for a crime in Washington, we can help. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers know that your rights and your future are in jeopardy from the moment of your arrest. That is why we work quickly to protect you and help you avoid jail time if possible.
At Lewis & Laws, PLLC, we have defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, and throughout the state of Washington. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our confidential contact form. Call us today!