A Maple Valley marijuana dealer and grower was sentenced today to 32 months in prison for opening fire in a residential neighborhood after he was robbed.
Federal prosecutors say Jason Loken, 38, thought he had lined up the sale of six pounds of marijuana to a call girl he met on backpage.com when he was accosted by two men who tied him up and stole the drugs, some hash oil and firearms.
Loken was able to free himself, grabbed another gun and opened fire, wounding one robber and a woman who was unaware of the robbery. One of the bandits, Melvin Slaughter, was given a 14-year sentence for the August home-invasion robbery. His associate, Ferdinand Clay, will be sentenced next month.
U.S. District Judge James Robart said that while the sentence for Slaughter was much longer because he was involved in an armed robbery, Loken bears responsibility for deciding to sells drugs and arm himself.
“This defendant brought gunfire and danger to a quiet community,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a news release.
During the Aug. 13 robbery, Clay reportedly forced Loken to the floor and secured his hands with zip-ties. Loken, however, freed himself and grabbed a gun from under his mattress. According to witnesses, Loken raced out the front door and started firing – hitting one robber and wounding a woman who was driving a car associated with the robbers.
The woman had no idea she was involved in a drug rip-off, prosecutors said.
Both victims survived. After shots were fired the robbers sped away, tossing bloodied items from the car, including some of the stolen firearms, which were recovered by police along the highway.
Loken claimed to be a grower for medical marijuana dispensaries, but later admitted that his marijuana manufacturing was in violation of state as well as federal law and pleaded guilty in December to manufacturing marijuana and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.