BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man arrested in March with a cache of firearms hidden throughout his apartment pleaded guilty Thursday, Jan. 6, to cocaine dealing.
Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder sentenced Travis M. Webber, 36, to one year in a state prison, although Webber was given credit for the eight months he served in the Whatcom County Jail while his case was pending.
Detectives with the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force and a Bellingham Police SWAT team raided Webber's apartment, in the 2400 block of St. Paul Street, on March 26.
They found more than a dozen loaded firearms, including handguns, rifles and shotguns, in the residence. They seized the firearms and more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition.
The detectives obtained a search warrant based on drug deals an informant working with the task force had conducted with Webber, but no drugs were found in the apartment.
The guns were all legally obtained and registered to Webber, who had a concealed weapons permit, said his attorney, Mike Tasker.
"Everything was legal," Tasker said.
Webber is barred from owning firearms once he gets out of prison because of the cocaine-dealing conviction, which is a class B felony in Washington state.
Webber entered an Alford plea, which acknowledges that evidence exists to support a conviction but he does not admit responsibility.
He had no felony convictions prior to Thursday's guilty plea.
Drug task force detectives began investigating Webber in September 2009, when an informant purchased cocaine from Webber on three occasions, according to charging documents filed in Superior Court.
On March 17, an agent working with the task force purchased marijuana from Webber, according to the documents.
Prosecutors charged Webber with three counts of cocaine dealing, one count of marijuana dealing and maintaining a drug house.The other charges were dismissed in the plea deal, Tasker said.
He said Webber is from the California bay area and will move back there to reconnect with family once he gets out of prison."He's a pretty decent kid," Tasker said. "It's good to get this resolved."