Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Feb. 1, 2023

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Washington man get 3-plus years for gun stash, bunker

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EVERETT — A man was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison Friday after he was found with an illegal arsenal of guns and explosives in a bunker in the Arlington area northeast of Everett.

Court documents said in November 2021 that James Bowden, now 42, confronted a man in a car and the two argued before Bowden fired a gun into the car’s windshield, hitting the man’s hand, The Herald reported.

In a subsequent search of Bowden’s property, federal investigators found a room in a detached garage that was set up with chemicals and equipment used to make explosives. A photo showed shelves filled with chemicals, a gas mask and “the laboratory” written in neon green paint, prosecutors said.

A removable panel in floor revealed a ladder to a bunker with guns, ammunition, grenades and other equipment, prosecutors said. Bomb technicians spent hours detonating the materials, prosecutors said.

Prior felony convictions including theft and burglary in 1999 prohibited barred Bowden from having the weapons.

In May, Bowden pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of machine guns and possession of a destructive device in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Federal prosecutors dropped several other charges.

Snohomish County prosecutors also dropped an assault charge against Bowden for the shooting.

Bowden was an iron worker before he got hurt on the job and increasingly used drugs, he wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez.

“Please see that I am an honest man who has been an Iron Worker for 20 years, an active participant in community, and a man who dearly loves his children,” Bowden wrote in his letter, “but most of all, a man that can learn from his folly and from having gone astray.”

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