News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Second Marijuana Grow Robber Sentenced To Long Prison Term

Defendant was Shot and Critically Wounded While Fleeing from Marijuana Distributor in Maple Valley Neighborhood

June 6, 2014

            A second defendant who was shot while fleeing from the robbery of a marijuana distributor was sentenced today in U.S. District court in Seattle to 12 years in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  FERDINAND CLAY, 32, of Seattle and Melvin Charles Slaughter, 31, tied up and robbed Maple Valley marijuana dealer  Jason Loken on August 13, 2013.  The two men stole guns, and marijuana from Loken; Loken had been restrained but was able to free himself.  He raced out of the house with a gun he had hidden under his mattress, and fired multiple shots at the fleeing robbers.  CLAY was shot in the face, neck and hip but recovered from his wounds.  U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik also imposed 3 years of supervised release.

            “Drug dealing is a volatile business, where guns and violence threaten public safety.  All those involved in this crime are paying with their freedom for their criminal conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “The two robbers who have extensive criminal history, will serve the longest sentences.  But the drug dealer who attracted this violence to his quiet neighborhood will also spend years in prison.”

            After shots were fired the robbery team sped away tossing bloodied items from the car, including some of the stolen firearms.  They were recovered by police along the highway.  The two who were injured went to different hospitals for treatment.  Slaughter and the other female member of the robbery crew later turned themselves in to police.

            Slaughter was sentenced to 14 years in prison on April 25, 2014.  Loken was sentenced to 32 months in prison on May 27, 2014.

            The case was investigated by the King County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi.


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