Washington residents understand that people accused of crimes can be tried in various jurisdictions, depending on the nature of the crime involved. In general, local charges do not rise above the designation of misdemeanor and merit little more than simple fines. Crimes at the state level involved both misdemeanors and felonies, many of the latter being so serious as to merit the harshest criminal penalties, including many years in prison and even the death penalty in some circumstances. Sometimes, though, some serious crimes merit a federal trial, especially when they involve some sort of potential interstate enterprise such as drug trafficking or child pornography.
Like the most serious felonies in most states, conviction on federal charges brings the prospect of many years in prison. Unfortunately for anyone accused of a federal crime, the U.S. government has more resources and deeper pockets than state governments and can aggressively investigate and prosecute any criminal allegation.