Snohomish man sentenced to 17 years in prison for drug, gun, and murder-for-hire related charges

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Tacoma – A Snohomish, Washington, man who was rearrested following his sentencing in a drug trafficking scheme, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for charges including attempting to hire a hitman to kill a witness in his case, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.

Michael John Scott, 44, was sentenced today to 17 years in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, Use of Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder for Hire, and Tampering with a Witness, Victim, or Informant. 

At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan said, “Mr. Scott had a long history of drug dealing capped by using interstate facilities to attempt to commit murder for hire and tampering with a witness.” Judge Bryan called these crimes “most serious offenses.”

Scott was sentenced in January 2020 to 78 months in prison for dealing fentanyl-laced pills and cocaine. 

According to documents filed with the court, as Scott was awaiting sentencing for his earlier drug distribution crimes, he continued to set up drug deals. Prior to Scott being remanded to custody for his 78-month sentence, he attempted to execute a drug deal. 

On January 30, 2020, he was arrested as he arrived to sell fentanyl pills to a person in Whatcom County. That person was working with law enforcement.

Following the January 2020 arrest, while in custody at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington, Scott agreed to pay an associate $2,000 if he would assist Scott in finding a hitman to kill a witness against him and an associate of that witness. 

Scott said he would pay $10,000 each for the murders. Scott told his associate that he wanted the deaths to appear to be fentanyl overdoses. 

In June and July 2021, Scott wrote letters disguised as ‘legal mail’ to the person he thought was the hitman and to a friend he wanted to handle payment for the crimes. Through that friend, Scott made the upfront agreed upon payment to someone who he believed to be a hitman.

Scott pleaded guilty in June 2019 for his role in U.S. v Hernandez et al, a 32-defendant drug trafficking case that was unsealed in December 2018. 

Scott was a high-volume redistributor of fentanyl-laced imitation oxycodone pills and cocaine, who delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to his cartel suppliers for the drugs–sometimes as much as $150,000 at a time. 

When Scott’s home was searched in December 2018, law enforcement recovered illegal drugs, more than $40,000 in cash, and other tools of the drug trade.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kristine Foerster and Max Shiner.


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