News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Snohomish County Men Indicted For Gun Trafficking

One Defendant Burglarized Store, Others Sold or Traded Firearms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2014

            Four men who trafficked firearms stolen from the Snohomish, Washington Fred Meyer store were indicted this week and will appear in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  MATTHEW ELSHAUG, 35, of Monroe, Washington is currently in the Snohomish County Jail and will come to federal court next week.  CASEY YOUNT, 26, also of Monroe; LEVI HERZ, 30, of Everett, Washington; and RAYMOND BARON, 52, of Marysville, Washington all appeared in the U.S. District Court on the indictment today, and are being detained at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac pending further court hearings.

            According to the indictment, in the early morning hours of November 17, 2013, ELSHAUG burglarized the Snohomish Fred Meyer store, using a crowbar to steal 29 firearms from the gun case.  ELSHAUG and YOUNT then sold the guns for cash or drugs.  HERZ bought nine of the stolen firearms and BARON bought other stolen firearms.  ELSHAUG, YOUNT, and HERZ all are prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior convictions.  ELSHAUG has prior convictions in Snohomish County for burglary, theft, and illegal firearms possession.  YOUNT has prior convictions in Snohomish County for theft and drug crimes.  HERZ has prior convictions in Snohomish County for drug crimes.

            The thirteen count indictment charges all four men with conspiracy to receive, possess, barter, and sell stolen firearms.  ELSHAUG is charged with Possession and Sale of Stolen Firearms, Theft of Firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee, and being a Felon in Possession of Firearms.  YOUNT is charged with Possession and Sale of Stolen Firearms, and being a Felon in Possession of Firearms.  HERZ is charged with Possession and Sale of Stolen Firearms, being a Felon in Possession of Firearms, and Distribution of Controlled Substances (methamphetamine and heroin).  BARON is charged with Possession and Sale of Stolen Firearms, Distribution of Controlled Substances (methamphetamine and heroin), Possession of a Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number, and Possession of a Firearm Not Registered to Possessor in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

            The conspiracy count is punishable by up to five years in prison.  The firearms related charges are punishable by up to ten years in prison, except for the count involving an obliterated serial number, which is punishable by five years in prison.  The drug distribution charges are punishable by up to twenty years in prison.

            The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.       

The case was investigated by the Snohomish Police Department, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department, the Marysville Police Department, the Everett Police Department, the Washington State Department of Corrections, the Snohomish Fugitive Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).  The Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office worked closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement on the case.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham. 

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