Couple Caught With Over 23lbs of Meth Sentenced to Prison
Large scale drug distributors who made weekly trips to California to pick-up illegal drugs for distribution
SEATTLE - A Tacoma couple who had large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA in their home were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma for being armed drug traffickers. Jaymes Arthur Gallagher, 34, was sentenced to 7 years in prison and Brittany Nicole Chipman, 28, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle ordered both to be on four years of supervised release following their prison terms. “The quantity of methamphetamine in this case is staggering… and it is not just addicts that are suffering, it is their families too,” Judge Settle said at the Chipman sentencing hearing.
According to records filed in the case, Gallagher came to the attention of law enforcement as a significant distributor of methamphetamine in the Thurston County and Tacoma areas. After some undercover purchases in August 2019, law enforcement obtained a court authorized search warrant for the home Gallagher and Chipman shared. In the home, officers seized six pounds of MDMA, more than a pound of cocaine, and more than four pounds of methamphetamine. In a detached garage on the property, officers located another 19 pounds of methamphetamine. There was $76,000 in cash in the house as well as a shotgun and a pistol that the couple admitted were used to protect their drug operation. Gallagher admitted to agents and officers that he purchased 20-30 pounds of methamphetamine from a California source every week or so, and would then distribute the methamphetamine in Western Washington.
The couple was indicted in October 2019, and each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in March 2020.
In her sentencing memo, Assistant United States Attorney Angelica Williams noted that Gallagher “has introduced hundreds of thousands of doses of harmful narcotics into Western Washington. He made a profit. He purchased firearms and kept them loaded to protect his business. He turned a blind eye to the harm he was doing to the community…. His drug distribution has undoubtedly affected many lives.”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Angelica Williams.