News and Press Releases

BURIEN MAN SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN DRUG CONSPIRACY
Crack and Powder Cocaine and Firearm Seized at Defendant’s House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2008

JOHN GERALD HOUSE, 39, of Burien, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Crack and Powder Cocaine. HOUSE was one of 15 people arrested for drug and gun crimes in March 2008, following a year long wiretap investigation by the ATF Violent Gang Task Force. HOUSE was a key customer of Nicola Kilcup, 36, and her husband Shawn Vanell Piper, 38, of Seattle, who sold crack and powder cocaine from their residence and business Extreme Auto Detail, located at 11027 A, 1st Avenue S. Seattle, Washington. The case was dubbed “Operation Clean Ride” because of the car detail shop.

At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the mandatory minimum sentence saying “a drug problem in the community is unfair to the community.“ Judge Lasnik urged HOUSE to use his time in prison to get drug treatment and job training.

Prosecutors said HOUSE was a significant part of the drug conspiracy. HOUSE was heard throughout the court authorized wiretap ordering drugs and talking about guns and ammunition. When HOUSE was arrested on March 20, 2008, agents searching his apartment found crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and a .357 magnum handgun under his bed.

Two leaders of the conspiracy, Kilcup and Piper, are scheduled to be sentenced on November 12, 2008.

The case was investigated by the ATF Violent Gang Task Force which includes agents and officers from the Seattle Police Department, the King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Department of Corrections, Kent Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Additional assistance was provided by the United States Marshal’s Service Pacific Northwest Fugitive Task Force, the SeaTac Police Department and the Des Moines Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Todd Greenberg.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office at (206) 553-4110.

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