Editor’s note: This article has been updated on Jan. 29 with additional information.
A Black Diamond resident appeared in federal court last Friday after being arrested for allegedly possessing illegal automatic weapons and unregistered silencers, as well as fentanyl with an intent to distribute.
Ross A. Heinzinger, 38, and Ashley N. Lewis, 36, were arrested Jan. 25 after leaving their Black Diamond residence, according to a Department of Justice press release.
According to the Department of Justice, Heinzinger is currently in custody, and a judge weighed whether to release him on Monday, Jan. 29; a decision came after print deadline.
Heinzinger has not yet been arraigned, and a grand jury has convened to determine whether or not to issue an indictment. It’ll be after an indictment is made that Heinzinger will make a plea.
Though they were only recently charged, the investigation into Heinzinger and Lewis began on Dec. 8, 2022, when the pair were arrested in Port Ludlow, Wa, after a deputy saw drug paraphernalia in their car when they appeared passed out.
After their arrest, officers secured a search warrant for the car and found seven privately-made firearms, also known as “ghost guns” with no series numbers, three handguns, a dozen silencers and a number of Glock conversion devices to turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon.
There were also allegedly high-capacity magazines, ammunition, tens of thousands in cash, and hundreds of pills, suspected to be fentanyl.
Heinzinger and Lewis were originally charged in Jefferson County on charges of drug distribution and for carrying a concealed weapon.
However, further investigation eventually found footage on Heinzinger’s phone that appears to show drug- and firearm-dealing activity, and “several videos… [that] document his sales of firearms to a convicted felon,” the release reads.
An Oct. 26 2023 raid on Heinzinger and Lewis’ Black Diamond apartment, Maple Valley storage unit, and four vehicles resulted in the confiscation of 23 more firearms, four silencers, two ballistic vests, and 2,300 rounds of ammunition in the couple’s Black Diamond apartment, as well as more firearms, silencers, and a “large quantity” of fentanyl pills in the cars.
Law enforcement called Heinzinger and Lewis to let them know about the raid. The couple said they would be back home that evening, but never showed.
After their recent arrest, Heinzinger and Lewis were charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute; two counts of unlawful possession of machine guns; unlawful possession of unregistered silencers; and unlawful possession of unregistered firearms.
Their case will be held in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma; while Heinzinger is being arraigned today, Lewis’ court date was scheduled later.
According to the DOJ, the amount of drugs involved in the case means the couple face a mandatory five year prison sentence, with a maximum sentence of 40 years. Additionally, the firearm charges are punishable for up to ten years incarceration.