News and Press Releases

Family Members Each Get More than a Dozen Years in Prison

November 21, 2008


A Seattle woman, her brother, and husband all will spend the next decade behind bars for leading a drug dealing organization that trafficked large amounts of crack and powder cocaine. Fifteen members of the group were arrested March 20, 2008, following a year long investigation and the serving of search warrants at a number of homes, apartments and cars across King County. The investigation, lead by the ATF Violent Gang Task Force, used court authorized wiretaps to uncover the group’s drug dealing and illegal weapons sales and possession. GARY KILCUP, 40, of Edmonds, Washington, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine. Last week his sister, NICOLA KILCUP, 36, of Seattle was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and her husband SHAWN VANELL PIPER, 38, was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

According to records filed in the case, PIPER and NICOLA KILCUP allegedly sold crack and powder cocaine from their residence and from PIPER’s business Extreme Auto Detail, located at 11027 A, 1st Avenue S., Seattle, Washington. The auto detailing business gave the case its name, “Operation Clean Ride.” Throughout the investigation PIPER, KILCUP and others sold cocaine to confidential informants. Many of the sales were captured on audio and video.

GARY KILCUP was arrested with cocaine packaged for delivery in May 2007. The arrest did not deter KILCUP and he was repeatedly recorded following that arrest on the court authorized telephone wiretaps making arrangements with his sister and her husband to pool their money so they could purchase larger quantities of cocaine for distribution. When KILCUP was arrested in March 2008, his home contained cocaine and packaging materials. KILCUP admits to trafficking twenty kilos of cocaine over the last year. On one of the recorded phone calls, KILCUP threatened to harm a witness in an assault case against his son.

In asking for the 15 year sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi noted KILCUP’s history of drug dealing and violence. KILCUP “has a lengthy and serious criminal history, including priors for drug trafficking and manslaughter. Mr. Kilcup also has two prior convictions for possessing a firearm, both of which occurred after his manslaughter conviction,” Lombardi wrote to the court.

When he addressed the Judge, KILCUP said “I’m about as dangerous as Santa Claus.” But he said he wanted to get this behind him.

Chief Judge Lasnik said, “You don’t get the benefit of the doubt when you have abused the trust of the community repeatedly.” Judge Lasnik told KILCUP that if he were to commit another crime after he serves this 15 year sentence, he would be incarcerated for the rest of his life.

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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