News and Press Releases

Defendant Returned to Drug Trade on the Day he was Released from Jail

October 9, 2009

CHRISTOPHER SCOTT, 35, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U. S. District Court in Seattle to 14 years in prison and five years of supervised release for Possession of Crack Cocaine with intent to Distribute and being a felon in Possession of a Firearm. SCOTT was indicted as part of “Operation Clean Ride,” a year-long investigation of a family based group dealing large amounts of crack and powder cocaine. On March 20, 2008, law enforcement executed search warrants at a number of homes, apartments and cars across King County. SCOTT, and others in the conspiracy, possessed firearms despite multiple felony convictions. 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. The case was dubbed “Operation Clean Ride” because much of the drug dealing was carried out at an auto-detailing shop. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the sentence.

According to records filed in the case, SCOTT was a close associate of Nicola Kilcup, buying significant quantities of cocaine for distribution into the community. When SCOTT’s residence was searched in March 2008, investigators located crack and powder cocaine, and a loaded 9 mm handgun. Recorded evidence in the case detailed how SCOTT used his girlfriend to conduct drug sales on his behalf while he was serving a six month sentence in the King County Jail for cocaine possession. On the day he was release from jail he went to Nicola Kilcup’s residence to re-enter the drug trade.

Following his arrest, SCOTT tried repeatedly to obstruct justice by trying to influence the testimony of other people in the case. SCOTT also recruited his girlfriend to smuggle contraband into the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac on his behalf.

In asking for a significant sentence Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi wrote to the court, “Scott was not a low-level dealer. Instead, he was buying significant quantities of cocaine from Kilcup. He in turn sold powder and crack cocaine in communities already blighted by crime and drug use.”

Other defendants in the case have already been sentenced to long prison terms. In November 2008, Nicola Kilcup was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and her husband, Shawn Vanell Piper, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Nicola Kilcup’s brother, Gary Kilcup, was sentenced in November 2008, to 15 years in prison.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. 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 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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