News and Press Releases

Repeat Offender Arrested in Connection with ‘La Familia’ Takedown

May 18, 2010

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 weapons. The jury deliberated about six hours following a week-long jury 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.

JOHNSON was identified for prosecution following the October 21, 2009, search of his residence. The search followed a lengthy investigation into a high-level methamphetamine transportation and trafficking organization. The investigation, begun in December 2008, links that organization to the “La Familia” cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico. On October 21, 2009, law enforcement officers found Methamphetamine, a semi-automatic Bushmaster assault rifle, a Tec-9 semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, two military-issue explosives, and an improvised hand grenade at JOHNSON’s Monroe home. A review of phone calls recorded in the investigation revealed JOHNSON’s role as a distributor of methamphetamine. In all 22 people have been charged in the case. In the course of the entire investigation law enforcement seized 27 pounds of methamphetamine, 10 kilos of cocaine, seven guns, and an estimated $150,000 in cash.

In his closing argument, Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell said the case was about meth, guns and explosives – a “toxic cocktail” from which JOHNSON “drank deeply.”

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), the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force consisting of Lynnwood Police Department, Mountlake Terrace Police Department, and Edmonds Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). King County Sheriff's Office, the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Monroe Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Marshal's Service also participated in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Vogel and Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell. Mr. Cornell is a Deputy Snohomish County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute drug crimes in federal court.

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

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