A 38-year-old Monroe man with connections to the Mexican drug cartel "La Famila" was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle Friday to twenty years in prison. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez imposed the mandatory minimum 20-year prison term.
Michael A. Johnson was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of an explosive in May of this year.
The investigation into the significant narcotics trafficking organization began in December of 2008.
On October of 2009, law enforcement officers found meth, a semi-automatic Bushmaster assault rifle, a Tec-9 semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, two military-issue explosives, and an improvised hand grenade during a search at Johnson’s Monroe home.
In all 22 people have been charged in the case. In the course of the entire investigation authorities seized 27 pounds of meth, 10 kilos of cocaine, seven guns, and an estimated $150,000 in cash.
The defendant has a long criminal history with ten prior convictions. He has convictions for assault, illegal firearm possession, attempted methamphetamine delivery, bail jumping, and eluding police in Kitsap County. He was also convicted in 2008 of meth possession in Pierce County.
In her sentencing memo, federal prosecutor Sarah Vogel stated that Johnson "was responsible for obtaining and re-distributing very high purity methamphetamine, worth several thousands of dollars, as part of an ongoing and escalating conspiracy. There is no evidence to suggest that his criminal conduct would have stopped, but for the October 21, 2009, DEA search and arrest. Indeed, even after that date, Defendant went on committing criminal acts into February of 2010 as he fled Western Washington in a stolen car, carrying methamphetamine and a disguise, until finally arrested and detained on these charges."
The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation involved multiple agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Lynnwood Police Department, Mountlake Terrace Police Department, Edmonds Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The King County Sheriff's Office, the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Monroe Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Marshal's Service also participated.