News and Press Releases

Defendant Had Two Pounds of Meth in Arlington Home; Claimed Nearly 100 Regular Customers

January 5, 2007

MICHELLE R. JOSS, 41, of Arlington, Snohomish County, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 75 months in prison and five years of supervised release for Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute. JOSS was arrested July 5, 2006 after Drug Enforcement Administration agents and officers with the Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force served a search warrant on her residence on Jordan Trails Road. Investigators found two gallon-size plastic bags of methamphetamine. JOSS pleaded guilty on September 26, 2006. At sentencing today Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told her, “This meth problem is a scourge on our society....This is an extremely serious crime.”

According to records filed in the case, JOSS was able to order up pound quantities of methamphetamine from her supplier. That defendant, Anibal Leon-Inzunza, has been charged by the grand jury with Distribution of Methamphetamine. At JOSS’ home, investigators found not only large quantities of methamphetamine, but digital scales, packaging materials, a scoop and money counter. They also found drug paraphernalia and a semi-automatic hand gun. JOSS told the agents that she had as many as 98 customers and that she knew no other way to pay her bills than dealing methamphetamine.

In February 2003, JOSS was convicted in Snohomish County Superior Court of Distribution of Methamphetamine. She was sentenced to four months in custody and community service. Noting that conviction, Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell asked Judge Lasnik to impose significant prison time. “Little more than three years after being released from custody for the offense,... the defendant was arrested and found in possession of almost two pounds of methamphetamine and assorted drug paraphernalia. It is apparent that the criminal consequences from her earlier conviction had no deterrent effect,” Cornell wrote in his sentencing memo.

Chief Judge Lasnik said he was concerned not only about the amount of drugs, but the number of people who were JOSS’ customers. “She is supporting the drug habits of people she knows and contributing to the demise of their health and their families.... They don’t care if their kids are clothed and fed, they don’t care if they go to work, they don’t care if they pollute the environment because they are so addicted,” Judge Lasnik said.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force.
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell. Mr. Cornell is a Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor who is specially designated to handle Snohomish County cases in Federal Court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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