Shooting victim indicted after drug lab, explosives discovered in RV near North Bend

The man and his partner face up to life in federal prison.

Braiden Wilson, 28, and Chandler Bennett, 30, were indicted by a federal grand jury on May 29 for the possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and the unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Wilson has also been charged with illegal possession of destructive devices and silencers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Washington.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies initially responded to the RV site near SE Homestead Valley Road on May 12 after receiving a report of a man — later identified as Wilson — having suffered a gunshot wound.

While on the scene, deputies noticed security cameras mounted to the motorhome and requested entrance and access to the footage to identify the shooter, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Bennett, having witnessed the shooting, refused both requests, which led the sheriff’s deputies to apply for a King County search warrant, according to court documents.

Upon the couple’s return to their RV following Wilson’s discharge from Harborview Medical Center, deputies were on the scene. They notified the two that they were not permitted to enter the motorhome, which was an active crime scene.

An altercation ensued when Wilson insisted he needed to enter the motorhome. Wilson was then tased and was told to leave the site with Bennett, according to court documents.

Deputies later received the search warrant from a King County judge.

“When law enforcement entered the RV, they found a large cache of weapons as well as fentanyl powder, tablets containing fentanyl, and sundry items associated with the manufacture of tablets, including a manual pill press,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Law enforcement located more than two and a half kilograms of fentanyl pills and seized 17 firearms, body armor, silencers, and ballistic shields. They also found gun parts made from 3D printers — making them untraceable.”

Deputies also found literature on the chemistry and manufacturing of explosives and instructions on converting firearms to automatic capability.

Several documents with both Wilson and Bennett’s names on them indicated they both lived in the motorhome. Due to the unlikelihood that one of them was unaware of the amount of contraband seized, both parties were arrested and are being held at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac.

Wilson and Bennett may face up to life in prison for the possession of the fentanyl alone, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A maximum sentence of 15 years and a fine of $250,000 is possible for possessing a machine gun.

Wilson also faces a maximum 10-year sentence and a $10,000 fine for possessing destructive devices and silencers.

The case is under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the King County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Washington State Patrol.

Wilson and Bennett will be arraigned for jury indictment on June 6 in front of Magistrate Judge Paula L. McCandlis in Seattle’s Western District Court of Washington.

Photo courtesy of Homeland Security Investigations.
Items seized at an RV site near SE Homestead Valley Road.

Photo courtesy of Homeland Security Investigations. Items seized at an RV site near SE Homestead Valley Road.