There were drugs, guns, bullet-riddled cars and a group of friends angry that the wrong guy showed up to sell them marijuana at a Lakewood market.
Pierce County prosecutors say trouble started early Sunday when a drug deal went bad, resulting in two separate gunfights. The action ended hours later after police found two marijuana grows, five guns and cash hidden throughout the alleged shooters’ apartments and cars.
Seven people have pleaded not guilty to an array of drug and gun charges in connection with the incident. Two of them — Aaron Averette, 20, and Carly Benton, 19 — were released on their own recognizance. Both are charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance.
Mason Johnson, 19; Alexander Averette, 20; and Lars Miller, 31, face the same drug charge but also one count of drive-by shooting. Their bails ranged from $50,000 to $100,000.
Rene Rivera, 19, believed to be the getaway driver, has been charged in a drive-by shooting linked to the events. Salvador Posada, 29, a felon, has been charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Charging documents tell this story:
The group went to buy some pot, but Johnson was upset because the seller was not who he expected, so he ordered his friend to drive away. The seller fired at the departing vehicle, prompting Alex Averette and Johnson to return fire.
“After initially escaping, another firefight broke out when (the cars) came across each other again,” documents state.
Now furious, Johnson rounded up Miller, Rivera and Alexander Averette to retaliate with a drive-by shooting. Witnesses told police about eight shots were fired at the victim’s house in the 8400 block of 99th Street Court Southwest.
No one was injured, but bullets struck the man’s garage door and vehicle.
About 10 minutes after the shooting, a patrol officer noticed a car speeding and followed it to the Village Green Apartments, 14436 Washington Ave. SW, where officers found Johnson’s car. A handgun and spent shotgun shells were found on the ground nearby.
In Johnson’s apartment, where he lived with Benton, police found nine marijuana plants, $1,000 in cash, shotgun shells, a stolen semi-automatic handgun and drug paraphernalia. Hidden in the wheel wells of Johnson’s car were a 9 mm pistol and a shotgun.
After searching a nearby apartment leased to the Averette brothers, police found 22 marijuana plants, a .22-caliber revolver and a 20-gauge shotgun.
Prosecutors have not filed charges against the victim, who told police he fired into the ground because he feared the men were going to rob him.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653