It wasn’t fatally shooting two men that landed Jeremy Capodanno in federal court Thursday — it was possessing the marijuana the dead men broke in to steal and the guns Capodanno used to defend the grow operation in his South Hill garage.
A federal grand jury indicted Capodanno, 36, with manufacturing marijuana, carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He pleaded not guilty to all counts during his arraignment.
If convicted as charged, Capodanno faces 15 years in prison. Prosecutors also are trying to seize homes and cars the grand jury believes he bought with drug money or used in the commission of a crime.
Capodanno was arrested Wednesday at a Kent home, more than four months after a shootout that upended his neighborhood in the 5900 block of 132nd Street East on South Hill.
Capodanno and his young son surprised two armed burglars wearing masks and carrying backpacks in his garage the morning of Dec. 6 and a gunfight broke out.
When deputies were summoned to the home by Capodanno, they found the dead men in a three-car garage attached to the house. They later were identified as Roy Piercy of Roy and Frederick Adamkiewicz of Tacoma, both 30. They died of multiple gunshots to the head, the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.
Deputies also found marijuana, guns and the boy’s backpack strewn throughout the garage and on the driveway.
Capodanno had an illegal marijuana grow with nearly 200 plants in the loft of his garage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He also had a Benelli 12-gauge shotgun, a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, an Intratec Tec-9 9 mm pistol, a Professional Ordnance MDL Carbon 15 and a Glock 17 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, which Capodanno is believed to have used to kill the burglars.
“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. “His conduct brought thieves to his door, put his 7-year-old son at risk and ended with him taking two lives.”
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Thursday that his office will not be charging Capodanno in the double homicide. “It’s undisputed the two individuals killed were armed intruders,” Lindquist said. “Even if you have an illegal enterprise in your house or garage, you have the legal right of self-defense.”
The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation, which means federal prosecutors will try to seize Capodanno’s homes in South Hill and Kent, as well as his guns, 2008 Mercedes and a 2008 Toyota pickup truck.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653