EVERETT — A King County man may face years in prison for his alleged role in a drug deal that ended in fatal gunfire.
Brian Garrett Wingender, 22, of Kenmore, reportedly told police he opened fire with a 9mm handgun after a March 13 marijuana deal in Everett devolved into an attempted robbery. Two teens were shot, one fatally.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf on June 27 charged Wingender with one count of possession of drugs with intent to manufacture or deliver. The charge includes an allegation the defendant or an accomplice was armed with a gun at the time.
Depending on how the case plays out in Snohomish County Superior Court, the firearms allegations put Wingender at risk of at least 18 months of additional punishment that would have to be served consecutive to any sentence for the drug charge.
Police recovered more than four pounds of marijuana, nearly 200 tabs of the prescription medication Xanax (sold on the street as “Hulks,”) plus multiple firearms, including an AK-47.
A co-defendant, Dustin Allan Bradshaw, 22, of Bothell, has admitted to driving to the failed dope deal. He pleaded guilty and has agreed to testify at any upcoming trials in exchange for the prosecutor’s recommendation that he serve six months in jail.
Alsdorf also has filed an attempted first-degree robbery charge, including a firearm allegation, against Francisco Vazquez, a confirmed gang member with a history of violent assaults. He was 17 when he was shot in the abdomen but is now charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the case.
Investigators determined the King County men agreed to drive to Clark Park in Everett to sell nearly two pounds of marijuana during a 1:30 a.m. meeting.
Instead, Vazquez and John Muhlstein, 18, of Everett, attempted to rob the pair when they pulled up to the meeting.
The violence spilled out of the car and ended with Vazquez wounded and Muhlstein dead, a handgun on the ground nearby.
Wingender claimed he acted in self defense while being chased through the streets.
Police heard the gunfire and converged on the scene.
“Both the defendant and Bradshaw cooperated with the police investigation by agreeing to post-Miranda recorded interviews at the police station,” Alsdorf said in court papers. “Their accounts were generally consistent with one another and with data retrieved from their cellphones, which they also voluntarily provided.”
Wingender’s description of the shootings “could not be disproved by the physical evidence at the scene,” the prosecutor wrote, detailing how police recovered shell casings and bullets in the places they would expect.
Not found was the handgun that Wingender claimed Vazquez was carrying when he was shot, according to court papers.
Wingender has no criminal history. He was freed on $10,000 bail immediately after the shootings. Prosecutors have asked that he be required to post a similar bond now that a felony charge has been filed.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.