Tacoma – A 38-year-old Black Diamond, Washington man will appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today following his arrest for six federal felonies related to illegal firearms and fentanyl distribution, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Ross A. Heinzinger was arrested yesterday shortly after leaving his residence. His co-defendant, Ashley N. Lewis, 36, will make a court appearance at a later date.
According to the criminal complaint, the couple were first contacted by law enforcement when a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy noticed them apparently passed out in their vehicle at the Village Store in Port Ludlow, Washington. Officers observed burned foil and blue pills in the car. The couple was arrested, and officers obtained a search warrant for the car.
Inside the car were seven privately made firearms – these are guns that have no serial number, often called ghost guns. There were also three handguns with serial numbers. Also in the car were 12 silencers and 11 Glock conversion
devices – a small part that turns a semi-automatic firearm into an automatic or machine gun. Law enforcement also found high-capacity magazines, ammunition, more than $53,000 in cash, and 700 suspected fentanyl pills.
The pair were charged in Jefferson County for drug distribution and carrying a concealed weapon. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) undertook a deeper investigation into the pair’s gun activity.
A court-authorized review of a cell phone seized from the couple revealed numerous videos of their fentanyl dealing activity and videos related to Heinzinger’s manufacturing of firearms. Several videos on the phone document his sales of firearms to a convicted felon. At one point in the video, Heinzinger offers the person several of his machineguns.
In October 2023, law enforcement executed search warrants on the couple’s Black Diamond apartment, storage locker, and vehicles. Agents seized 23
firearms, four silencers, two ballistic vests, and 2,300 rounds of ammunition. In one of the vehicles was a large quantity of fentanyl pills as well as a pistol magazine loaded with ammunition. In another vehicle were a silencer and additional ammunition.
Neither Heinzinger nor Lewis was present at the apartment during the search. Following the search, a warrant was issued for the pair’s arrest.
Both are now charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute; two counts of unlawful possession of machineguns; unlawful possession of unregistered silencers; and unlawful possession of unregistered firearms.
Because of the drug quantity involved, if convicted, the pair face a mandatory minimum five years and up to 40 years in prison. The firearm charges are punishable by up to ten years in prison.
The charges contained in the complaint 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 is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the King County Sheriff’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marci Ellsworth.