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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release

December 6, 2010

Kitsap County Repeat Offender Sentenced to Long Prison Term for Drug Dealing

A 38-year-old Port Orchard man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 12 years in prison and five years of supervised release for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. JOHN CLARKE HAMILTON was arrested in May 2010, after he fired shots at another person. Two months earlier, law enforcement officers had executed a court ordered search warrant at an apartment in Silverdale, Washington, and found a bag belonging to HAMILTON that contained packing materials, scales, a drug ledger, $5,000 in cash, a loaded Ruger, .45 caliber handgun, and approximately 280 grams of pure methamphetamine. When officers searched HAMILTON’s car after the shooting, they found another four firearms. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle imposed the sentence saying HAMILTON’s history was dominated by a constant and continuous run-in with the law.

According to records filed in the case, HAMILTON has a lengthy criminal history going back to 1991. His prior convictions include burglary, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of methamphetamine, forgery, unlawful possession of a firearm, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and possession of stolen property.

In asking for the lengthy sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Marc Perez wrote to the court that HAMILTON admitted to selling a pound of methamphetamine every 36 to 48 hours and to sending thousands of dollars to Mexico.... Hamilton was a brazen criminal in the Kitsap County area. He was also part and parcel of the methamphetamine scourge that has swept across the Peninsula. A lengthy sentence is warranted to punish Hamilton for the havoc he wrought on the residents in Kitsap County....

HAMILTON was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods PSN, is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. (PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level — in this case, in Kitsap County —
has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, and the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.