Crime

Everson pair sentenced for running drug house stocked with guns, pipe bombs

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An Everson pair has been sentenced for selling heroin from a house stocked with drugs, guns and explosives in November.

Benjamin Carl Neily, 27, twice sold a couple of grams of heroin to an undercover agent with the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force in summer 2016, according to charging papers filed in Whatcom County Superior Court. A woman living with him, Sierra Leanne Thompson, 26, sold heroin to an agent, too, that fall.

In November, the task force went to Neily’s home at 207 Sable Drive with a search warrant and turned up heroin, methamphetamine, two shotguns, a .22-caliber rifle, and two pipe bombs. Both were arrested to face drug delivery charges.

Neily, who had prior drug felonies on his record, wasn’t allowed to possess guns. One shotgun had a barrel under 18 inches long, making it illegal to own at all.

During the search, Neily warned a police officer he had two pipe bombs filled with gunpowder in the house. He claimed to be holding on to them for someone else. The pipe bombs were recovered without incident.

Neily pleaded guilty last week to possession of an explosive device, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine, and two counts of delivery of heroin. In the past, he had been convicted of theft of a firearm, supplying liquor to minors, and other drug- and alcohol-related crimes.

Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis sentenced him to eight years in prison, as suggested by the plea deal.

Thompson had a few misdemeanors on her rap sheet – for theft, shoplifting and use of drug paraphernalia – but no felonies. On Thursday she was ordered to serve an alternative drug-offender sentence for delivery of heroin, possession of meth, unlawful possession of Xanax, and maintaining a premises for drug trafficking.

She won’t serve prison time if she follows through with 24 months of treatment, both in and out of a treatment facility.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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