News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2010
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Monroe Man Faces 20 Years To Life For Meth Distribution & Weapons Charges
Repeat Offender Arrested in Connection with ‘La Familia’ Nationwide Arrests

MAY 18 -- (Seattle) –Michael Anthony Johnson, 38, of Monroe, Washington, was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of four counts related to illegal drugs and weapon charges. The jury deliberated for nearly 6 six hours following a week-long trial. Johnson was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of an explosive. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on August 27, 2010. He faces a 20 year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $4 million.

The investigation was initiated in December 2008, targeting a high-level methamphetamine transportation and trafficking organization with links to the ‘La Familia’ cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico. On October 21, 2009, Johnson was arrested as part of a DEA led nationwide crackdown dubbed “Project Coronado”. Johnson was arrested after law enforcement located methamphetamine, a semi-automatic Bushmaster assault rifle, a Tec-9 semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, two military-issue explosives, and an improvised hand grenade inside his Monroe residence. A review of phone calls recorded in the investigation revealed Johnson’s role as a distributor of methamphetamine.

Johnson has prior convictions for assault (Kitsap County 1993), illegal possession of a firearm (Kitsap County 1999 and 2002), bail jumping (Kitsap County 2002), attempting to elude a police vehicle (Kitsap County 2008), and unlawful possession of methamphetamine (Pierce County 2008).

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force consisting of Lynnwood Police Department, Mountlake Terrace Police Department, and Edmonds Police Department. The Burien Police Department, King County Sheriff's Office, Seattle Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Marshal's Service also participated in the investigation.