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Authorities: Sequim man could see federal charges from loaded magazine, tactical vest

PORT ANGELES — A convicted felon from Sequim whose bail was set at $100,000 last week for investigation of firearms and drug charges could also face federal charges for illegally possessing a loaded 9 mm magazine and two Kevlar bullet-resistant vests, authorities say.

Scott R. Baker, 47, had the bail set Friday by Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour after Baker was arrested Thursday for investigation of possession of methamphetamine and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm — an unloaded, bolt-action 20-gauge shotgun that was found in his vehicle, according to the probable-cause statement.

Coughenour set the filing of formal charges for 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Coughenour fulfilled county Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin’s bail-setting recommendation, emphasizing that Baker has 18 failure-to-appear convictions.

Supervision

Baker also was arrested for investigation of violating the conditions of his state Department of Corrections community supervision on a 2009 King County felony conviction for first-degree burglary, in which a weapon was used.

Baker also has convictions from 1987 in Clallam and Jefferson counties for second-degree assault and a 10-year sentence from federal court on a 1995 conviction for distribution of methamphetamine, said John Troberg, part-time Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney.

Baker was represented Friday by Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender.

Sequim Police Detective Sgt. Sean Madison said Sunday that Baker has spent more than half his life in prison.

Troberg said Friday that possession of the police-style tactical ballistic vests, commonly known as bulletproof vests, and the loaded bullet magazine is not a violation of state law but is a violation of federal law for convicted felons.

Troberg said the case will be referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle for possible charges on those counts.

Madison said Sunday that one of the vests was designed to be worn by police under clothing and the other over clothing.

“[Baker] has no business with that type of equipment,” Madison said.

“They have no legitimate purpose for a guy like that.

“He wasn’t using it to go to a costume party, that’s all I know.”

Arrested in Sequim

Here’s an account of the arrest from Sequim police officer Richard Larsen’s probable-cause statement:

Baker was arrested without incident at about 9:45 a.m. Thursday by Larsen, who had teamed up with two state Department of Corrections officers at an apartment in the 300 block of South Fifth Avenue in Sequim to look for a person wanted by DOC.

One of the DOC officers saw a male under DOC supervision outside the apartment trying to access a vehicle that the officer knew was Baker’s.

Larsen found Baker inside the apartment and told him his DOC officer wanted to speak with him.

The statement says that as Baker walked out of the residence, he removed something from his pocket and threw it into the bushes.

It tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, the statement says.

“Baker agreed to speak with me and told me he used methamphetamine earlier in the day,” Larsen said in the statement.

The DOC officers searched Baker’s vehicle and found the two tactical vests and what appeared to be a shotgun wrapped in cowhide.

Warrant

After obtaining a telephonic search warrant, Larsen found a plastic bag with shotgun shells and a loaded 9 mm magazine in one of the vests.

Baker said the male who had been wanted by DOC was going to sell the firearm and vest.

Madison said Sunday that the shotgun is no longer being manufactured, adding he successfully test-fired it.

Madison said when Baker opened the door inside the apartment to Larsen, Baker was holding a 12- to 14-inch sheathed machete-type knife.

Baker followed Larsen’s instruction to put down the weapon, Madison said.

“I don’t know why he was holding it,” Madison said.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected]

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