A 36-year-old Puyallup man has pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment on gun and marijuana-manufacturing charges after he killed two people in December while protecting his marijuana grow operation.
If convicted, Jeremy Peter Capodanno could face a 15-year mandatory-minimum sentence — and possibly as many as 40 years — for drug trafficking and for using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The government is also seeking to seize his property, including two homes, and vehicles.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Thursday that his office formalized its decision not to charge Capodanno for the shootings.
“Regardless of whether you are operating an illegal enterprise, you still have the right to to use deadly force in defense of yourself or others or your property,” he said. “It is undisputed that these men were armed intruders.”
The federal indictment said Capodanno was armed with a 9-mm Glock handgun. Police also found two assault-style rifles, a Tec-9 semiautomatic handgun and a shotgun.
“This defendant chose to enter the illegal drug business, and armed himself to protect his trade, not his home,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said. “This conduct brought thieves to his door, put his 7-year-old son at risk, and ended with him taking two lives.”
It doesn't sound to me like the prosecutor did him any favors. Allowing that he was justified in the shooting and then charging him with "using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking" sounds like bullshit to me. He was growing pot, for crying out loud.
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