Community Post

PI: Deuce 8 Leader In Federal Court – Updated

PI reporter Claudia Rowe has an outstanding story today that documents the court appearance of Eric Sanford, an alleged leader of the Deuce 8 gang. He faces a weapon violation stemming from a November traffic stop where police found a Ruger pistol.  He was barred from owning a gun after a 2007 conviction for cocaine possession.

There’s a lot of interesting color in the article, including this passage that describes his celebrity status among some of the kids at Garfield:

School was just getting under way in September when Ted Howard, the principal at Garfield High, noticed a disturbing thing: Dozens of his students were congregating outside the building, jockeying for a chance to shake hands with a young man lurking across the street.

Immediately, Howard demanded that the man leave.

There was no resistance, just a parting comment: “When your kids cross the street,” the stranger said, “they’re mine.”The man Howard confronted that autumn afternoon was Eric Sanford, 21, a high school dropout whom investigators describe as a leader of the Deuce 8 street gang, which is based in the Central District and suspected in several recent youth shootings.

I did some digging on MySpace and found one of the photos that is referenced in the article:

We’re also trying to find out more about his background. Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.

Make sure you go and read the whole article.  It’s a perfect example of why we can’t let our daily newspapers go under. Neighborhood bloggers such as yours truly will never have the time and frankly the skills to research and assemble a story of that quality.

Update:  I did some digging in court records and found that Mr. Sanford has two prior felony convictions for car theft and cocaine possession.  The drug charge stemmed from three buy/bust operations on different days of December 2006, where witnesses working with police bought $220 worth of crack from Sanford in front of Parnell’s grocery at 23rd S. & S. Dearborn. He ended up pleading guilty to that charge and was fined $500 and given 12 months of confinement.

His most recent brush with the law occurred on November 11th of last year when an officer saw a gray ’87 Caprice make a rapid turn from Cherry onto 13th, narrowly missing another vehicle.  Sanford was a passenger in the back seat, and at the time was in violation of his probation for the 2006 cocaine conviction. When he was removed from the vehicle, a fully-loaded silver handgun was left behind in the seat.  Police also found a baggy with crack cocaine on the floor in front of Sanford’s seat in the vehicle.

Mr. Sanford was arrested on the weapons charge and admitted during questioning to being a part of the Deuce 8 gang.

0 thoughts on “PI: Deuce 8 Leader In Federal Court – Updated

  1. Thanks again, Scott, for keeping us informed. ugh. This is need to know stuff, especially for parents who TRY to know what’s up with their kids. Kids can be cagey, but knowing where they are & who they are with is a big deal.
    I have a friend who lives on QA who told her daughter “I have friends all over the hill who will tell me when they see you”. Imagine the mom’s surprise & delight the first time 3 friends mentioned seeing her 13 yo walking around holding hands with a boy…bottom line, we can watch out for each other’s kids.

  2. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve witnessed the parents/family of at-risk kids tell anyone who gives them information on their child’s doings to mind their own damned business and “stop picking on my child.” Please. When will these people stop protecting these kids who are inches away from real trouble? They make ridiculous excuses and cover up for them left and right, not understanding that they aren’t doing their job as parents when they do so!

    When I was a kid, I knew very well that just because my mom or dad wasn’t watching me didn’t mean they wouldn’t know about something I was up to via the neighbors…neighbors who were considered friends, not adversaries.

    If I was a parent today, I’d expect my neighbors to tell me anything they saw concerning my kid! I can’t be there 24 hours a day, and I would know how much I needed the extra eyes.

  3. Curious, does anyone know what the due process is when you violate parole? I mean if he was arrested in Nov for a probation violation (drugs, gun, and confinement) why does it take till January for him to appear in court on these charges and then get held pending trial. I would think that if the court decided to release a convicted individual then any parole violation should immediateely place you back in?

  4. Get the vermin off the street and away from the children. Where I come from, people that were older – hanging out with high school kids were considered losers… Lock them up and throw away the key, there is no chance to rehabilitate felons that carry illegal matter how much the liberal hearts bleed and want for it. Away with ‘the general’ and his associates I say. The parent and family reference are jokes – do you think these anti social vermin have strong family upbringing they were failed and failed themselves through choices that each human has to make between right and wrong as an adult in their 20s….see yah at the gray bar hotel.

  5. Tha’ General is a failure in life because it goes back generations in his family .
    Nothing good is going to come from giving someone like Sanford a second chance because trying to reform him wastes our tax dollars when all he would amount to is a low level crack dealer .
    Let him go to jail and pay his debt to society he needs to be off the streets there is no hope for people like him .

    The cycle needs to be broken by the feds putting more local gang members in jail for long periods of time with no plea bargaining .
    We need federal laws to keep gangs out of our school system to curb the negative and dangerous element that is going on .

  6. do you realize that this person is a person! i know this man and he is not a bad person. he is not the reason your kids are gang banging…U ARE! take some responsibility as a parent…if u dont like what your kids are doing DO NOT MOVE TO THE CENTRAL DISTRICT…that is a choice you make…you can go ahead and comment back and say oh this is just one of his little “homies” but that is what you have wrong im a grown female WHITE woman, the way you people act makes me you not see all of the killing going on? you cannot walk around the CD and be from the CD without rival gangs coming through and shooting people…every one wants to target deuce 8 but what you are failing to realize is what about the other gangs like the hoover crips from the south end that killed allen and little quincy…or Low Profile who killed Terrel Miliam and left him in seward park…you just want to target decue 8 because they stand on a block…

  7. Ummm, he is a felon who was found riding around with a gun. He pled guilty to selling crack. Does that make him a good person?

    Seems like ur pretty tied up in the Deuce 8s, complaining about all the other sets that have been helping to shoot up the neighborhood here. Are you saying that the thugs in the Deuce 8s have never shot back? That they have never inflicted some pain or death on there enemies? please…

    I am thinking that you dont sound like a very good judge of character. Maybe we should instead let this guys actions speak for themselves.

  8. Oh my bad…you are right this is totally the parent’s fault…make sure this ‘good man’ who innocently happens to be a convicted ‘gun toting crack dealer’ is not held accountable at all, especially when he recruits On school grounds:
    “When your kids cross the street,” the stranger said, “they’re mine.”The man Howard confronted that autumn afternoon was Eric Sanford, 21, a high school dropout whom investigators describe as a leader of the Deuce 8 street gang, which is based in the Central District and suspected in several recent youth shootings.

  9. Is there any way of finding out how many crimes have been committed on or around Parnell’s? I swear, closing that place down would be of significant benefit to my neighborhood. Of course, “tha generals” of the world would find somewhere else to hang – how about the Mayor’s block in West Seattle?

  10. I know Eric Sanford also. I worked with him for almost two (2) years while he muddled through the juvenile justice system and was given break after chance after break after chance after break. I’ve been in his home running counseling sessions on dozens of ocassions, and have met both of his parents and extended family who tried to care for him and get him to fly straight (his extended family that is, his parents had their own struggles they went through). His aunt and older sister were the most positive people in his life that he had.

    Bottom line, and this was after my involvement in his case; Eric was a PRIME example of coddling, enabling, and outright negligence on the part of the juvenile justice system. Won’t go into it any further than that, please don’t ask.

    Keep in mind however, this was when Eric was a teenager. He’s an adult now and repsonsibile for his own actions. If he or his family read this blog, they’ll know exactly who I am because I’m going to say the same thing now that I did several years ago:

    You are ultimately responsible for your own decisions. Man up and face the consequences of your actions, apply those lessons to your future decisions.

    Eric is an adult and should be treated as such. He’s not a kid anymore and his actions affect more than just himself, as can be evidenced by the PI article. Eric chose a negative path, that’s completely his doing. I know for a fact that his family loves him and wants something better for him. He’s spit in their faces with his conscious decisions and quite frankly, I know that some of his family members who have passed recently would be rolling in their graves if they knew what Eric was doing out on the streets.

    Stop making excuses for him, he’s a smart guy and knows what he is doing.

  11. Ummm, we want to target Deuce 8 because they are shooting at people on Jackson during rush hour, not because we are singling them out from all the other gangs (we’d like them to stop shooting, too). And no, I don’t believe for a minute that you are an “older, white woman.” Also, telling people not to move to the CD is crazy — don’t you want law-abiding citizens to move in and clean this place up? Does anyone really want it to degenerate again?

    I don’t know this person and I don’t WANT to know someone who is the “leader” of a gang that sells crack to kids and starts shooting when innocent bystanders are walking and driving by. If that’s your idea of a “good person” I’d like to know who you consider “evil.”

  12. yes i am a 24 year old grown white woman, ya eric made some mistakes but being involved in recent youth shootings is crazy…maybe you should look at his myspace one more time and see he is the friend of a lot of these youths that your talking about…Low Profile operate around parnells so you can point fingers at them for that…

    i am not saying eric should not be held accountable for what he did (carrying a gun and selling crack) however saying he is involved with the recent shootings is crazy…its ok though because none of you know him, you say dont i want you guys to move in and make it a better place but the thing is it is fine just the way it is, and to say he is a “leader” of deuce 8 hahaha come on dont give him that much credit it doesnt matter because rest assured you will see mr sanford out in seattle in coming years…period!

  13. Leaving aside, for just a moment, Eric Sanford’s crack dealing and gun toting, and setting aside whether or not he is a leader of the deuce 8 gang, can we take a minute to look at the question of how “just fine” the neighborhood is?

    Is it “just fine” that gangs “operate around” a convenience store? Is it “fine” that junkies line up to buy their hit, while schoolbuses are unloading in the afternoon? When people are afraid to go near Flo Ware park because of the recent shootings in the area, is that also “just fine”? When prostitutes strut on the corner, families of all colors walking by, how “fine” is that? Is it “fine” that businesses have to deal with gang graffiti and loitering, scaring away paying customers?

    No one’s moving in to the neighborhood to make it better. Everyone here–new, old, white, black, brown–deserves streets, corners, shops, and neighbors free of crime, fear, and intimidation. That would be fine.

  14. I wrote the comment above.

    I wanted to add that the CD has a lot of great things going on, too–it’s not all crime, all the time, and it shouldn’t be painted that way. We have community groups, shops, parks, neighbors, volunteers, more. This part of town is full of fantastic history, which we could all get to know better. New residents can honor and respect the contributions of the old, join and carry on that tradition of neighborliness, and keep the CD safe for all. That’s how these blocks will become “just fine.”

  15. He is a square who wants attention, he is no leader and the older “white lady” needs to quit dry snitching

  16. cant wait 4 u 2 cum home bro bro shit aint tha same wit u and vic u niggaz were tha blocc wit out u motha fucks there is no jackson i love 8 up

  17. Opinions everyone has one and is entitled to one… tootie your wrong lil G the block will never die one man can’t make a street corner do anything… it takes a group of dedicated men… the plan is to channel that same dedication into something positive… these same people calling E a ” gun toatin crack dealer ” are probley child malesters, wierdos or at least cheated on there taxes a couple times… everyone has flaws… god knows E aint no dam general he wasn’t one then and he won’t be when he comes home but he’s a VERY important peace to the puzzle… it’s people like you who make his confidence sky rocket