First criminal case filed two years after gun background check initiative became law

Prosecutors in Island County have charged an Oak Harbor man in what is believe to be the first criminal case resulting from the gun background check initiative approved by voters nearly two years ago.

Prosecutors charged Mark A. Mercado with "unlawful transfer of a firearm" -- a Phoenix Arms HP22 handgun.

In charging documents obtained by KING 5 and public broadcasting's Northwest News Network on Monday, prosecutors said Mercardo sold his handgun on November 9th of 2015.

It was used to murder 17-year-old John Skyler Johnson two days later.

Sheriff''s investigators say Mercardo sold the gun to 20-year-old David Nunez without seeking the required background check under Initiative 594.

That voter-approved measure requires buyers to receive a criminal background check when purchasing a gun from another citizen before a sale can move forward.

Nunez conspired with three friends to murder Johnson in an ongoing dispute.

Nunez is now serving 25 years in prison.

Documents say Mercado left his job and moved out of Oak Harbor.  Detectives do not appear to know his exact whereabouts.







Copyright 2016 KING


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