Arrests for stolen guns, drugs follow burglary arrest

SNOHOMISH — What began as a brazen burglary at the Snohomish Fred Meyer has shone light into a fluid black market economy of guns, drugs and money.

A lone burglar broke into the store early Nov. 17, sneaking around graveyard shift employees during their lunch hour. With dark gloves and his face shrouded by his hooded sweatshirt, the man made his way to the gun section. He used a crowbar to crack into the back of the display case.

He then stole 30 Beretta and Ruger handguns, some distinctly colored pink, purple and maroon.

In the weeks since, Snohomish police have arrested the man suspected of the burglary and rounded up several others who they believe knowingly bought the stolen weapons. With street names of “Bouya” and “Trigg,” they’ve allegedly been wheeling and dealing in guns for heroin, methamphetamine and greenbacks.

“They have their own network and they know how to off-load,” Snohomish police Chief John Flood said. “Guns are hot right now. The crooks are talking. They are smart enough to know, ‘I’ve got to get rid of this thing.’”

Flood credited solid police work and communication among detectives and patrol officers — along with the burglary suspect’s return to the scene of the crime — with cracking the case.

Store surveillance footage produced photos of a suspicious white Hyundai Tiburon in the parking lot around the time of the break-in. The car had a sun roof and some kind of shiny object on the front windshield. A photo was included in a bulletin circulated among police officers.

Twenty-four hours later, around 3:45 a.m. Nov. 18, a Snohomish patrol officer spotted a white Tiburon drive into the same parking lot and park next to the fuel pumps. It had a sunroof and a shiny decal on the front windshield. The mysterious windshield ware turned out to be a Seahawks sticker.

A Monroe man, 35, was driving the car. He later confessed to the break-in, according to court records.

On the day of the burglary, the suspect appeared confident he’d gotten away it.

That morning, his girlfriend — who police believe was unaware of his criminal plans — grew concerned because he had not come home.

He texted her back, at one point saying, “It was clean and safe and no one seen me at all! I AM IN THE CLEAR! I DIDN’T EVEN TRIP THE ALARM!”

Police tracked down many of his movements after the break-in.

On Nov. 21, the Snohomish County Regional SWAT team served a warrant in the 6800 block of 51st Avenue NE in Marysville. It was there, police allege, the burglary suspect exchanged some of the guns for drugs and money in two separate deals. The alleged drug dealer, 52, was arrested after a brief standoff.

The burglary suspect’s roommate also was arrested for allegedly helping sell some of the firearms.

Other arrests followed.

The ever-widening web of underground sales has kept detectives busy writing and serving search warrants almost daily since the break-in.

Many of the guns were sold and resold so quickly it is hard to know where they are now, Flood said. It is a reality that worries the police chief.

“I would like to recover all of the guns but I don’t think we’ll be able to,” he said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Everett pastor’s life was inspired by Rev. Billy Graham

The first crusade Brian Harpell ever attended was when the Christian evangelist came to his hometown.

Water to be shut off for some homes, districts next week

The pipe closing will affect mainly the Snohomish and Monroe areas.

Spikes put end to ride from Seattle to Everett in stolen car

Two men were taken into custody at the bottom of Marine View Drive off I-5.

Section of W. Marine View Drive will be closed Saturday

A footbridge is being torn down between Everett Ave. and the Naval Station entrance.

Fugitive Watch

The state Department of Corrections’ Everett office has felony warrants for the… Continue reading

House passes ban on bump-fire stocks

If the Senate approves, Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign it into law.

Two more suspects identified in shooting death of casino winner

The two, who have ties to Everett, Mount Vernon and Bellingham, remain at large.

Everett council defers decision on methadone clinic zoning

Councilmembers asked to see more information on potential options in the weeks ahead.

Election results are finalized for school tax measures

More than 135,000 ballots were cast, a turnout of about 31 percent.

Most Read