Pierce County Man who Shot Two Intruders at his Marijuana Grow Indicted for Drug Manufacturing and Illegal Gun Possession
Use Of Gun In Relation To Drug Crime Carries Mandatory Minimum Sentence
JEREMY PETER CAPODANNO, 36, was arrested late yesterday following his indictment last week for manufacturing marijuana, and two counts for discharging and possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug crime, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. On December 6, 2012, CAPODANNO shot two people who had broken into the garage of his Puyallup residence – killing both of them. In the garage loft was a marijuana grow with nearly 200 plants. When police officers arrived, they found CAPODANNO in possession of a Glock 17, 9mm semiautomatic pistol, which is the gun that police allege CAPODANNO used to kill the two men. While searching CAPODANNO’S truck, police found other weapons including a Bushmaster XM-15 Rifle; an Intratec Tec-9 9mm pistol; a Benelli 12 gauge shotgun; and a Professional Ordinance MDL Carbon 15. CAPODANNO will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today at 2:30 PM.
“This defendant chose to enter the illegal drug business, and armed himself to protect his trade, not his home,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “His conduct brought thieves to his door, put his seven-year-old son at risk, and ended with him taking two lives.”
The indictment charges CAPODANNO with manufacturing marijuana because of the large grow operation found in the loft of his garage. He is charged with carrying the Glock and firing it in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime and is charged in the third count for possessing the four other weapons. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which means the government will seek to forfeit property that the Grand Jury has alleged was used in commission of the crimes or was purchased with marijuana proceeds. These properties include the defendant’s house in Puyallup, where the where the shooting occurred, as well as a second house in Kent, Washington, along with a 2008 Mercedes and a 2008 Toyota pickup truck. The government is also seeking to forfeit the guns used in the crime.
“As you can see, freedom without responsibility results in violence and bloodshed,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes. “I commend United States Attorney Jenny Durkan and our state and local partners for standing together against drug trafficking and gun related violence.”
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Manufacturing marijuana is punishable by five to 40 years in prison. If convicted of all charges, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison.
The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Matthew Thomas.