Tacoma man sentenced as part of operation to fight gun violence in Kent

A Tacoma man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for drug and gun-possession crimes, after an effort to fight gun violence earlier this year in Kent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Officers found two handguns and an illegal marijuana grow when in June they searched the home of 46-year-old Anthony Ripley, and he was involved in methamphetamine distribution, the office said in a press release.

“In the first half of 2018, there were 29 shots-fired incidents in Kent’s East Hill neighborhood prompting law enforcement to launch a focused operation to address the problem,” U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in the statement. “Job one was to remove those who were committing crimes most likely to result in additional violence.”

Case were brought against eight people, most of whom who’d been illegally armed while dealing drugs in the area, Hayes said.

Investigators seized 11 guns from people who were not allowed to have them because of their criminal histories, she said.

Ripley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

A sentencing memorandum his attorney filed with the court said Ripley hurt himself while moving a heavy dumpster at work, and fell back into substance abuse.

Defense attorney Catherine Chaney wrote that Ripley’s early years were “tragically unstable,” and that he “is embarrassed to find himself facing a lengthy prison term again. He has, however, fully accepted responsibility for his offense.”

Ripley was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in Pierce County in 1997, and he has convictions from 1994 and 2006 for distributing cocaine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

He got 11 1/2 years in prison for the Sept. 21, 1996, death of Germain Lamont Davis outside a University Place bar, according to News Tribune archives. Ripley said he fired three shots at a group that was attacking him, but didn’t know whether he hit anyone, The News Tribune reported.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.