DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 27, 2018
Annette L. Hayes
, United States Attorney
Contact: Emily Langlie

Tacoma Man Convicted of Drug Distribution and Gun Crimes Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

More than 50 Firearms and more than a Pound of Meth Found in Tacoma Home

A 57-year-old Tacoma man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for two federal felonies involving guns and drug dealing, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. GERALD CLAUDE CARLSON, was convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking in January 2018 following a three-day jury trial. CARLSON was arrested in May 2016, when police serving a court authorized search warrant on his home, uncovered more than a pound of methamphetamine, 58 firearms and $34,000 in cash.  Two of the firearms were loaded and located near the meth and other drug trafficking materials. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton referred to the “scourge” of drugs that is ruining our civilization, and said “It is inexcusable.  It is a very serious offense.  And it has, from my vantage point, no redeemable features.”

CARLSON came to the attention of law enforcement in early 2016, when a person working as an informant for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department purchased methamphetamine from CARLSON.  Based on those contacts law enforcement obtained a search warrant.  In CARLSON’s bedroom they found a pound of meth packaged for distribution as well as identity documents in CARLSON’s name and two loaded firearms: a Springfield Armory 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a Smith and Wesson .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.  In the garage of the home investigators found 55 additional firearms and more methamphetamine in a large safe.  They also found drug ledgers indicating CARLSON had been selling meth since at least as early as 2012.  

The case was investigated by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Special Investigations Unit.  Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and Drug Enforcement Administration also testified as expert witnesses at trial.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory A. Gruber and Andre Penalver.

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Field Division: Seattle Field Division