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Originally published Friday, November 8, 2013 at 9:06 PM

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Pot grower, home-invasion suspects indicted by feds

A federal grand jury has indicted both the alleged robbers and their victim in Maple Leaf marijuana home-invasion shootout and robbery last August


Seattle Times staff reporter

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A Maple Valley medical-marijuana grower and the trio of people who allegedly tried to rob him have found themselves the targets of a federal grand jury.

The August home-invasion robbery at Jason Loken’s home devolved into a gunfight in which police say Loken shot two people who allegedly tried to steal his marijuana.

Separate federal indictments issued this week accused Loken of manufacturing marijuana and carrying and discharging a firearm while trafficking drugs. He faces a mandatory-minimum of 10 years in prison — and maybe twice that much — and the government is seeking forfeiture of his home and several firearms.

The three people accused of forcing their way into his home, tying him up and stealing marijuana and money were indicted on charges of conspiracy, interfering with commerce through robbery and firearms charges. Two of the men, Ferdinand Clay, 32, and Melvin Slaughter, are also accused of being felons in possession of firearms.

The trio were first charged in state court, and documents filed there say a woman Loken knew as “Kayla” — identified as Annastasia Marie Pierson — came to his home to sample some marijuana the evening of Aug. 13. She arrived with beer and, unknown to Loken, two guests — Clay and Slaughter, who rushed into the home and ordered him to the floor at gunpoint, according to the state complaint.

They tied him with zip-ties and took money and marijuana and several guns, Loken told police in a statement.

Loken said he was able to free himself as the robbers were loading an SUV with the loot. He allegedly grabbed a 9mm handgun from beneath a mattress and ran outside.

Loken fired on the SUV and a car parked nearby, shooting Clay and a woman who had unsuspectingly driven one of the men to the robbery, according to police.

Clay was struck in the neck and the woman was hit in the buttocks. Both survived.

Loken told police he fired in self-defense only after one of the individuals turned and pointed one of his own rifles at him. No criminal charges relating to the shooting itself have been filed.

The state charges against the three were later dismissed.

In a similar case handed up by a federal grand jury last March, 37-year-old Jeremy Peter Capodanno pleaded guilty last month to charges of manufacturing marijuana and possession of a firearm in relation to a drug crime in connection with a December 2012 incident in which he shot and killed two armed intruders who had broken into the garage of his Puyallup home.

Police responding to the incident found 200 marijuana plants and four firearms, including two assault-style rifles, a shotgun and a TEC-9 pistol.

Pierce County prosecutors determined the shootings were self-defense, and the case was referred to federal prosecutors.

Capodanno faces a mandatory-minimum five-year sentence on the gun charge, and up to 20 years for manufacturing drugs when sentenced on Jan 31.

In addition to the prison sentence, Capodanno has agreed to forfeit his $570,000 Puyallup ranch house, and another piece of property in Kent worth $97,000, along with the four guns, according to court documents.

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @stimesmcarter.



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