SEATTLE — Two young Snohomish County men now are facing federal charges for the Nov. 21 robbery of a Mountlake Terrace marijuana store, a take-over holdup that saw workers held at gunpoint by a man brandishing a military-style rifle.
Bradford Marselas Johnson and Eric Henry Woodberry had earlier been charged in Snohomish County Superior Court in connection with the robbery at Rainier Cannabis. They were arrested after police converged on the pot shop and set up a dragnet to snare the robbers as they tried to leave with pot and cash.
The state charges were dismissed last month after a grand jury indicted the pair on federal crimes.
Johnson and Woodberry now are both charged in U.S. District Court in Seattle with robbery and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. That’s for the pot products authorities say were taken at gunpoint.
They also are charged with a variety of federal weapons violations.
Johnson is accused of menacing the workers with what they described as a “machine gun.” It was actually an MGI Marck-15 semiautomatic rifle, a weapon based on the AR-15 design. In this case, it could only be possessed with special federal permission because it had been outfitted with a short barrel, court papers say. The rifle earlier had been reported stolen from a Snohomish home.
Among other things, Johnson, 20, of Edmonds, is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was just 28 days out of prison at the time of the pot shop holdup. He’d earlier been serving time for a 2015 robbery of another Snohomish County marijuana business.
Woodberry, 21, of Brier, was caught on video brandishing what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun, although one wasn’t found after the robbery, according to court papers. He also is charged in a February 2017 home invasion in Seattle. Some of his co-defendants in that crime are accused of robbing Greenworks Cannabis in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood a few days earlier, court papers show. Police earlier said the same crew might have been responsible for $24,000 in marijuana that showed up in a cooler donated to the Monroe Goodwill last year.
The robbers hit the Mountlake Terrace shop just before closing. They ordered the security guard onto the ground, seized cellphones and demanded the other workers — known as budtenders — start filling garbage bags with specific products.
“We’ve done this before,” one of the gunmen reportedly said.
Police were alerted to trouble by a 911 call from a person who was off-site and monitoring security cameras. The robbers fled when they realized they were surrounded, leaving behind $36,000 worth of marijuana products that had been stuffed into the bags.
Police found the likely getaway car, parked near the store with the engine running and the windshield wipers on. It was registered to Johnson’s mother. She told police her son had borrowed it to “run errands.”
Both Johnson and Harris pleaded not guilty at their arraignments early this month. Their federal trials are now scheduled for late April.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; email@example.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.