A Swinomish tribal member was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle for dealing drugs in Skagit County and on the Swinomish Reservation, according to a news release from the prosecutor’s office.
Robert Andrew Johnny, 28, pleaded guilty last year to a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and carrying a firearm.
Last March, law enforcement pulled over Johnny and another defendant in Mount Vernon. In their vehicle, according to prosecutors, they had nearly 90,000 fentanyl pills, 2 kilograms of methamphetamine, four guns and $10,000 cash. Authorities reportedly found more drugs at Johnny’s home.
Johnny’s co-defendant, Santos Gutierrez-Fosella, pleaded guilty in October and has a sentencing hearing scheduled for March. Prosecutors wrote that Gutierrez-Fosella sold Johnny drugs to further distribute.
Police had previously stopped Johnny in 2021, when he was driving on the Swinomish Reservation. They found some drugs in his vehicle then, too, prosecutors wrote.
The defense asked for a lower sentence of five years, citing Johnny’s history of substance use disorder and lack of violent crime. This will be the first time Johnny goes to prison, the defense noted.
During the sentencing hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lauren King noted the harm of drug dealing to tribal communities, according to the news release.
The Swinomish tribe sued pharmaceutical companies due to the opioid epidemic in 2018, claiming the drugs significantly impacted tribal members.