Repeated efforts to find weapons pays off for deputies

EVERETT — The police had reason to believe the man kept guns around his home south of Everett.

The 33-year-old is a convicted felon and a familiar face to Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies. They’ve been to his place near 120th Street SE dozens of times over the past year, Lt. Keith Rogers said.

However, until a recent visit, they didn’t know about the secret compartment inside the brown leather lounging bench. That added juice to their case.

The deputies had obtained a judge’s permission to search the home in October. They came across different kinds of ammunition but didn’t find any firearms, which seemed odd. At the time, the man was being investigated in connection with a stolen car.

The deputies were back in December with another search warrant, also in reference to a stolen car. Again, they found ammunition, as well as a gun box, but no guns. There was a shooting reported at the house last year, but court papers aren’t clear about what happened or when.

On Jan. 25, an informant told deputy Ryan Phillips the guns were hidden in the lounge chair in the bedroom. The man who lived there apparently had bragged about using the secret compartment to thwart police.

Phillips remembered seeing a brown bench with cushions in the house on a previous visit. He obtained another search warrant the day he got the tip. That effort allegedly turned up three rifles, including an AR-15, three shotguns, a pistol and a box of stolen mail, according to documents filed in Everett District Court. The weapons were hidden, but not inside the bench.

“The secret container, it was empty,” Rogers said in an interview. “All the guns that were recovered — there were seven that night — they were under the couch cushions, under the bedroom mattress and in the closet.”

The man was arrested for investigation of illegal firearm possession, and he posted bail. He was arrested again Feb. 13 and bailed out again, jail records show.

His problems aren’t just with police.

His landlord recently filed eviction paperwork. The landlord said the man has been living at the home since 2014 but has not paid rent for months. He reportedly owes more than $7,800.

According to Rogers, deputies were back at the house checking up on the eviction as recently as Thursday.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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