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Date: 03-29-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Santos Gutierrez-Fosella

Case Number: 2:22-cr-00042

Judge: Lauren King

Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (King County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Seattle

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Seattle, Washington criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with drug trafficking while armed with multiple firearms.

Santos Gutierrez-Fosella, age 24, of Mount Vernon, Washington, was indicted with two others on March 30, 2022. Robert Johnny was purchasing pills from Gutierrez-Fosella. He was sentenced in January 2023, to six years in prison. A third co-defendant, Steven Lopez Ruiz is scheduled for sentencing on April 5, 2023.

When law enforcement searched Gutierrez-Fosella’s car after the traffic stop, they found not only the fentanyl and methamphetamine, but S10,000 in cash and four firearms: a .40 caliber Hi Point handgun, a Beretta APX handgun, a Palmetto PA15 rifle, and a CZ Scorpion rifle. Gutierrez-Fosella had the loaded ghost gun and another $7,000 in cash in his pockets.

As part of the agreement to resolve the federal case, the Skagit County Prosecutor agreed to resolve its pending charges against Gutierrez-Fosella, including charges related to an armed robbery, by accepting pleas to the following charges pending in Skagit County: Conspiracy to Commit Robbery in the First Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree, and Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree.

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.

Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances - 21:841(a)(1) and 846
Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (Dodge Journey) - 21:841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)
Carrying a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime (Gutierrez's Person) - 18:924(c)(1)(A)(i)

Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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