March 20, 2000
BOTHELL--Stephen Clifford Ferguson, 52, was charged with one count of manufacturing marijuana and one count of possessing unregistered weapons, in Seattle's U.S. District Court last week. Bail was set at $100,000. If found guilty, he faces at least five years in federal prison for the drug charge and ten years for the weapons charge.
Ferguson was arrested by King County Sheriff's officers after the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) found some 60 weapons, including 20 machine guns, and 50,000 rounds of ammunition at the unincorporated Bothell house he rented in the 19300 block of 100th Ave. NE.
At his arraignment, his attorney claimed the government could not prove Ferguson had possession of the house or that the weapons belonged to him. But federal prosecutor Ron Friedman said agents found Ferguson's passport, driver's license, and mail linking him to the address. Neighbors told police that Ferguson had lived like a hermit in the house for three years.
Myriad automatic weapons parts throughout the home led police to suspect Ferguson was manufacturing weapons for sale. Some of the machine guns were set up pointing out windows toward St. Brendan Catholic School across the street. Various materials for making explosives were also found.
A neighbor saw Ferguson dragging another man out of the house toward his car. Ferguson ran to her door and asked her to help him load the man into his car and not call 911, but she called anyway. When police arrived, they smelled marijuana inside the house, and saw some of the machine guns through the window. They immediately called ATF. Ferguson's unidentified housemate died from an apparent hepatitis condition at Evergreen Hospital on Wednesday, March 15.
Ferguson's home was decorated with Nazi uniforms and insignias, including mannequins in German uniforms "standing guard" in the living room, police said.