TACOMA, Wash. — A Snohomish man who was already on trial for his role in a drug trafficking operation has pled guilty to new charges, one of which being an attempt to hire a hitman to kill a witness involved in his case.
In January 2020, 44-year-old Michael John Scott, was sentenced to 78 months in prison for dealing fentanyl pills and cocaine. Just a week later, Scott was arrested again while on his way to a drug deal in Whatcom County.
While at the Federal Detention Center awaiting trial on his drug charges, Scott attempted to hire a hitman to kill a witness, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
While Scott was in custody at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Scott agreed to pay someone $2,000 if he would assist in finding Scott a hitman that would kill a witness and an associate of that witness, the DOJ said. Scott also said he would pay $10,000 each for the murders.
According to the DOJ, Scott relayed that he wanted the deaths to appear to be fentanyl overdoses.
In 2021, Scott wrote letters disguised as ‘legal mail’ to the person he thought was the hitman and to a friend he wanted to handle the payment for the crimes. The FBI was aware of the plan and had an official pose as the hitman. A friend of Scott’s met with the “hitman” and provided him with a down payment.
Scott pled guilty to a litany of federal felonies, according to the DOJ. Those crimes include:
Prosecutors will recommend no more than 20 years in prison and the defense can recommend no less than 10 years, according to the terms of the plea agreement.
However, the U.S. District Judge can impose any sentence allowed by law when Scott is sentenced in July of this year.
In 2019, Scott also pled guilty to his role in a drug trafficking case where he was a high-volume distributor of fentanyl-laced pills and cocaine. He also delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to his cartel suppliers for the drugs, according to the DOJ. Sometimes he delivered as much as $150,000 at a time.
In the current case, officials seized more than $25,000 and a firearm at Scott’s home.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).