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Press Release

Repeat Offender Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Illegal Firearms Possession and Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Felon used Wife as Straw Buyer of Guns and Ammunition

          A repeat offender who used his wife to repeatedly illegally purchase firearms, was sentenced  today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 7 years in prison for four federal felonies, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  ROBERT A. STANARD, 42, of Stanwood, Washington was convicted in January 2018 of illegally possessing two firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, illegal possession of an unregistered silencer and conspiracy to obstruct justice.  At the sentencing hearing Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez stated that STANARD had a violent felony history and had lied repeatedly at his trial. “You don’t get to take the stand and perjure yourself.  That is offensive to our entire system of justice…His false denials went to essential elements of his case.”

            “Federal felons with violent criminal histories are prohibited from possessing firearms because they have shown what a danger they pose in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “This defendant has repeatedly demonstrated his danger, not only to his family but to law enforcement tasked with public safety.  Keeping firearms out of the hands of felons in a top priority for the Department of Justice.”

            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 sent 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 in the emails and telephone calls that he had retrieved it and was secreting it from law enforcement.

            STANARD is prohibited from possessing firearms due to multiple prior convictions including two federal cases.  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 a neighboring 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 kill the man by blowing-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.

            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.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated July 13, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime