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News / Northwest

Yakima man gets 7 years in federal prison for gun theft from state wildlife building

By Donald W. Meyers, Yakima Herald-Republic
Published: April 13, 2023, 11:48am

YAKIMA — A Yakima man who stole nearly two dozen guns from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in will spend seven years in federal prison.

Alexander Scott Stevens, 31, pleaded guilty in August to being a felon in possession of firearms in connection with the Jan. 2, 2022, break-in at a WDFW building near Tahoma Cemetery in Yakima. In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Mary K. Dimke also ordered Stevens at the April 4 sentencing hearing to serve three years on supervised release.

Stevens cut a hole through a wall at a building at WDFW’s regional office and took 18 firearms and a suppressor from an evidence holding room. Yakima police identified Stevens as the suspect based on a palmprint that was found at the scene of the crime.

He was initially booked into the Yakima County jail on suspicion of 19 counts of firearms theft, 19 counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and one count each of first-degree burglary and second-degree malicious mischief.

Yakima police referred the case to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives due to the number of firearms stolen.

Stevens, in a hand-printed letter to Dimke, blamed his criminal behavior on a methamphetamine addiction that began when he was 13, which he funded with burglaries. He was not expecting to find guns when he broke into the DFW building, but he said the temptation to take them was too great.

“I could have walked away. But I didn’t,” Stevens wrote. “I never considered for a single instant what may become of my actions that night, the tragedies that may follow and the terrible things I may have set in motion.”

In the letter, Stevens said he wanted to use his time in prison to recover from his addiction and work toward becoming an electrician, as well as to be a father for his son.

At the time of his arrest, Stevens had a prior conviction for burglary in Benton County, and was out on bail awaiting trial on charges of second-degree trafficking in stolen property and second-degree possession of stolen property in Yakima County.