Repeat Offender Convicted of Illegal Firearms Possession and Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice
Felon used Wife as Straw Buyer of Guns and Ammunition
A repeat offender who previously served ten years for plotting to use a pipe-bomb to blow up a motel, was convicted today of four federal felonies related to his ongoing illegal weapon possession, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. ROBERT A. STANARD, 41, of Stanwood, Washington was convicted of illegally possessing two firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, illegal possession of an unregistered silencer and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The jury deliberated two hours following a three-day jury trial. Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez set sentencing for April 13, 2018.
According to records in the case and testimony at trial, STANARD repeatedly directed his wife in person and via text message to purchase firearms for his use. The weapons included an AR-15 assault rifle and a Ruger .380 handgun. STANARD ordered more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition from online sources, as well as gun parts. He directed his wife to purchase ammunition as well. His wife was confused at the gun stores and in a series of text messages and pictures consulted STANARD about every purchase. STANARD used items he ordered online to construct a silencer for one of the weapons. STANARD was arrested in October 2016, following reports of domestic violence. While incarcerated at Snohomish County Jail and later at the Federal Detention Center, STANARD send coded emails and spoke in code on telephone calls to get a family member to retrieve a third pistol that was hidden in his pick-up truck. The conspirators called the gun a “CD player” and the family member confirmed he had retrieved it and was secreting it from law enforcement.
STANARD was prohibited from possessing firearms due to multiple prior convictions including two federal felonies. In 2004 STANARD was sentenced to ten years in prison for two unrelated crimes. In March of 2001 in Utah, STANARD illegally possessed an unregistered firearm and, while in an argument with his cousin, he fired the gun with the bullet passing through the wall of an apartment. While on pretrial release for that crime, STANARD traveled to Washington where he first pistol whipped a man in Port Angeles, and then plotted to use a pipe bomb to blow up the man’s long stay motel. But for the work of an alert Sequim Police officer who stopped STANARD’s car due to a broken tail light, the bombing could have killed many innocent people.
At trial STANARD tried to claim he had no access to the guns that his wife kept them locked away in gun safes. Text messages show that she had provided him with the lock code for one safe, and various witnesses testified that they saw STANARD accessing the safes and with the guns at his disposal. Prosecutors said in closing arguments “Stanard hid behind his wife and family to own guns.”
STANARD faces up to ten years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew Friedman and Joshua Ferrentino.