Federal sentence awaits Adam Kelly

State sentences Port Townsend man in death of local musician

TACOMA — A Port Townsend man who was sentenced in Jefferson County in July for the controlled substances homicide of musician Jarrod Bramson has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and illegal firearms possession charges in federal district court.

Adam Michael Kelly, 38, pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and being a drug user in possession of firearms Friday in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington, said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran in a press release. Kelly will be sentenced Nov. 2.

Kelly was sentenced to 68 months — 5 years and 8 months in prison —on July 23 in Jefferson County Superior Court for the controlled substances homicide of Bramson in March 2019.

He had signed an Alford plea, saying he did not admit guilt but that the state had enough evidence to convict him of controlled substances homicide.

Under the terms of the federal plea agreement, both the prosecution and the defense will recommend a sentence of 66 months — 5 years, 6 months — in prison, with the federal sentence running concurrently with the state sentence.

However, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle is not bound by the recommendation and can impose any sentence up to the 10-year maximum allowed by law.

On March 27 2019, Kelly and his then-girlfriend left Bramson, 43, overdosed on heroin in a car outside Jefferson Healthcare hospital’s emergency room. He died that evening.

Later, they called the hospital to check on Bramson, authorities said, and law enforcement officers traced the phone call to Kelly’s residence. Police said that Kelly admitted that Bramson had used drugs in his home, that he had become unresponsive, and that Kelly had left him at the emergency room entrance when he could not revive him.

Police obtained a search warrant for Kelly’s home and found “a sophisticated drug lab in the basement with pill presses, lab equipment, vent hoods, and over 75 pounds of Schedule III controlled substances, primarily steroids,” authorities said.

“Records seized at the lab indicate Kelly had a lucrative business selling and shipping illegal steroids across the country,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In addition to the drug lab, Kelly had a wide variety of firearms, silencers and tactical gear: a .40 caliber Glock fitted with a silencer; two more Glock handguns, a Bersa .22 caliber, a Winchester shotgun, a Remington 700, and a Bushmaster AR-15, police said. They said they also found a second silencer as well as a variety of ammunition and a tactical vest.

“As an admitted drug user, it is illegal for Kelly to possess firearms,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, adding that heroin and methamphetamine were found in his possession.

Kelly has been in custody since his arrest on March 28, 2019.

The case was investigated by the Port Townsend Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from other local and federal law enforcement agencies.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William Dreher.