Seattle – A 28-year-old enrolled member of the Swinomish Indian Tribe was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to six years in prison for drug dealing while carrying a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Robert Andrew Johnny was indicted in 2022 after being caught with drugs and firearms on two different occasions. At today’s sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Lauren King imposed four years of supervised release to follow prison, and noted the harm of drug dealing, particularly to tribal communities.
According to records filed in the case, Johnny was contacted by police on March 14, 2022, while he was a passenger in a car driven by a coconspirator. In the car were nearly 90,000 fentanyl pills and two kilos of methamphetamine. There were four firearms and $10,000 cash in the vehicle. When police searched Johnny’s home, they found more than 2800 fentanyl pills and additional methamphetamine.
Previously, in June 2021, law enforcement searched a car Johnny had been driving and found it contained fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin. In the car was a backpack with a firearm and other items bearing Johnny’s name.
In October 2022, Johnny pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
In asking for a six-year prison sentence, prosecutors highlighted the danger of the fentanyl and methamphetamine Johnny distributed on the Swinomish Reservation and elsewhere in Skagit County. “These substances destroy the lives of their users, including leading to death in some cases. Our society also bears an enormous burden for medical treatment, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, law enforcement, and corrections. In addition to the danger that Johnny created for users of the drugs that he distributed, Johnny’s activities also created danger to the public by involving firearms to protect drugs and cash,” Assistant United States Attorney Miriam Hinman wrote in her sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Swinomish Police Department and the Mount Vernon Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Miriam Hinman.