News and Press Releases

Defendant Has Multiple Prior Convictions for Domestic Violence

March 27, 2009

JERMAINE E. SATTERWHITE, 35, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to six years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. SATTERWHITE was arrested as part of “Operation Clean Ride,” a year-long investigation of a conspiracy dealing large amounts of crack and powder cocaine. The operation took its name from the fact that large amounts of cocaine were being dealt out of a car detailing business owned by two conspirators. At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik observed that “the insatiable desire for drugs in this country is causing harm to so many communities.”

Arrests in the case were made one year ago, March 20, 2008. The investigation, lead by the ATF Violent Gang Task Force, used court authorized wiretaps to uncover the group’s drug dealing and illegal weapons possession and trafficking. Three conspirators have already been sentenced to long prison terms. Gary Kilcup, 40, of Edmonds, Washington, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine. 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.

In asking for a lengthy sentence for SATTERWHITE, Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi acknowledged that unlike some of the participants in the group, SATTERWHITE was not armed with a firearm. However, SATTERWHITE has nine separate convictions for domestic violence. The “sheer persistence” he has shown with these convictions indicates “he has not been deterred by his contacts with the criminal justice system,” Mr. Lombardi told the court.

In imposing the six year sentence, Chief Judge Lasnik observed that under other circumstances SATTERWHITE’s drug dealing might have been prosecuted in King County Superior Court not federal court. “The African-American community particularly is suffering so much violence from criminal gangs dealing drugs. The federal government is stepping up to take some big time drug dealers off the street.”

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 was 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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