Man gets 53 years for role in robbery

EVERETT — A Seattle drug dealer was handed what could amount to a life sentence for orchestrating a Marysville home invasion robbery in 2011.

A Snohomish County judge on Tuesday sentenced Ronald Brown to 53 years in prison. The defendant’s use of a firearm during the crimes accounts for more than half of his sentence. He must serve every day of 31 years as part of the state’s “hard time for armed crime” enhancement.

Brown is 48.

Surrounded by several county corrections officers, Brown hurled insults at Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives and prosecutors, complaining about being held in jail without bail all these months.

A Snohomish County jury in January only needed a couple of hours to convict Brown of seven felony charges, including kidnapping, robbery, burglary and assault.

Witnesses testified that Brown, whose nickname is “Mountain,” led a home invasion robbery December 2011 to retaliate against two men who had ripped off a drug dealer who was working for him.

A heavily armed crew held a Marysville husband and wife at gunpoint as Brown and others tried to track down the two men at the couple’s home. The robbers, some with ties to an outlaw motorcycle gang, threatened the couple and their relatives.

The robbery took a violent turn when someone in the crew mistook one of their own for a rival and fired a shotgun at the man.

Patrick “Bucky” Buckmaster, 30, was shot in the head after walking into the Marysville house. The crew fled and so did the Marysville couple.

Later, some of the robbers returned, packed Buckmaster’s body into the trunk of a car and drove to Denny’s. He later was buried in a shallow grave in east Snohomish County. His body was discovered about a month later.

His family was told that Buckmaster was treated to a vacation because he’d done right by an outlaw motorcycle gang during a recent job. Relatives believe that was the gang’s way of notifying them of Buckmaster’s death.

Johnathan Frohs, aka Bigfoot, is charged with murdering the Tacoma man. He is scheduled to go to trial in June. The trial of another man accused of taking part in the home invasion robbery also is expected to get under way in June.

Nearly a dozen men were implicated in the robberies. The majority have pleaded guilty or already been convicted at trials.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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