PORT ANGELES — Law enforcement authorities have arrested a man for investigation of firearms and drug charges who told them he bought and sold a gun with a price tag on it from FREDS Guns in Sequim, where 20-30 firearms were stolen April 13 in a daring break-in.
Bail of $50,000 was set late Thursday afternoon for Isaiah A. Hylton, 20, at his first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court. Hylton will live in Port Angeles if he gets out on bail, he said in court.
Hylton was arrested at about midnight Tuesday following a tip related to the investigation of the break-in at FREDS Guns.
The break-in was accomplished with an agricultural loader that was driven through the wall so that guns and ammunition could be stolen.
Criminal information on charges against Hylton — which could include unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance, heroin — are expected to be filed at 1 p.m. Monday in Superior Court.
In setting the bail Thursday, Judge Brian Coughenour referred specifically to Hylton’s connection to the gun-store theft, calling the theft “rather egregious,” and noting that Hylton is a convicted felon.
Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) spokesman Jason Chudy said Thursday that Hylton is not a suspect in the burglary, which remains under investigation.
Chudy would not comment further about the case.
Sheriff Bill Benedict, who attended the hearing, said evidence including blood that could be from a burglar’s injury and fingerprints from the store are being examined by the State Patrol in an “expedited” manner.
Here’s an account of the arrest from the probable cause statement authored by State Patrol Detective J.M. McMillen:
The State Patrol was contacted by an ATF Special Agent on Tuesday who said that according to an anonymous tip, Hylton had “multiple guns” that he was attempting to sell from a motel room at the Holiday Lodge motel in Port Angeles.
Another anonymous source told ATF that a male identified as Hylton was doing what seemed to be a drug deal from the back of a Volkswagen in the motel’s parking lot.
State Patrol detectives and ATF agents who staked out the hotel saw Hylton meeting with several people in the parking lot, making trips to a Volkswagen Jetta and carrying a bag.
After Hylton left the parking lot in the car at about midnight Tuesday, a State Patrol trooper conducted a traffic stop based on Hylton’s suspended-driver status.
Hylton told the trooper there was a gun in the vehicle.
A passenger in the vehicle said “he has recently seen additional guns in the room or in the possession of Hylton.” The passenger has not been charged.
“Hylton admitted that he had recently been in possession of a handgun that had been stolen from Freds Guns Store in Sequim,” McMillen said in the statement.
“Hylton knew it was a stolen gun because it still had a tag on it. Hylton purchased the gun and then sold it to another individual.”
A .22-caliber revolver was under the passenger seat of the vehicle, and narcotics, pills, scales and small “bindles” were retrieved based on warrants to search the vehicle and a hotel room at Holiday Lodge, according to the statement.
Tar heroin was found in Hylton’s underwear and $802 in his pocket, according to the statement.
Authorities said anonymous tips can be called into 1-888-283-8477.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].