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Four charged with gun trafficking on West Side


SEATTLE – A federal grand jury in Seattle has indicted four previously convicted felons on charges they sold dozens of weapons to an undercover agent in Snohomish County.

Heather Chancey, 34; Mark Jenkins, 53; James Michaels, 37; and Curtis Van Putten, 43 – all of Marysville – were arrested Wednesday morning and made initial appearances in U.S. District Court later in the afternoon.

All but Chancey pleaded not guilty to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to unlawfully deal in firearms. Chancey was scheduled to be arraigned Friday. Their lawyers did not comment further on the arrests.

Chancey sold 40 firearms, including sawed-off shotguns and weapons with obliterated serial numbers, as well as methamphetamine to the undercover agent and introduced the agent to the others involved, who agreed to sell more guns, the indictment said.

Prosecutors say most of the sales took place in the parking lot of the Tulalip Resort Casino last September to January.

“These defendants, convicted felons, were selling dozens of high-powered firearms with no sales record and no concern about where these guns would end up,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a news release. “Our region has seen too much heartache come out of the end of guns.”

It wasn’t immediately clear where the guns might have originated or whether authorities believe the defendants sold guns to anyone other than the undercover agent. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cate Crisham said after court that both of those topics remain under investigation.

According to the indictment, Chancey was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a 2001 meth conviction. Jenkins was convicted of criminal mischief in Coos County, Ore., in 2002; Michaels was convicted of drug possession in 2000; and Van Putten has prior convictions for drug possession and possession of stolen property.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida ordered each detained pending hearings set for Friday or Monday.


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