San Diego, CA–The owner of a large residential compound in the north county pleaded guilty in federal court admitting that he maintained the property as a drug-involved premise.
Sean Sheeter, 73, was charged just before the pandemic, in March 2020, with a violation of the federal “Crack House” statute.
As part of the plea agreement, Sheeter admitted that he knowingly and intentionally rented, leased, profited from, and made the property, located in the 700 block of Poinsettia, available for use to certain residents and guests. Sheeter admitted that he knew or reasonably should have known that many of the residents and guests used the property for the purpose of unlawfully storing, distributing, and using federally controlled substances, including heroin and methamphetamine.
Sheeter also admitted that in many instances, his residents’ and guests’ primary reasons for renting, residing at, and/or visiting the property were so they could store, distribute and/or use controlled substances without interference. Sheeter admitted that this activity “was pervasive” on the property.
As part of his plea agreement and related documents, Sheeter’s property will be sold, and proceeds from that sale will be forfeited to the federal government. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1 before U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino.
The federal indictment against Sheeter was the result of a multi-year investigation led by the North County Regional Gang Task Force, which is spearheaded by the FBI and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. The investigation involved months of federal wiretaps, multiple undercover drug buys, and surveillance that led investigators to learn about the criminal activity on the property.
A search warrant unsealed with the indictment revealed that between January 1, 2017, and February 25, 2020, law enforcement activity at the property was extensive, including dozens of separate calls for service, arrests, citations, and seizures of controlled substances directly tied to the property. The guilty plea is the first step in restoring normalcy to the Vista neighborhood that has been plagued by criminal activity emanating from the property.
“This property is no longer a drug-laden refuge for violent felons, gang members, drug dealers, and drug users,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We will continue to use every tool we have to bring safety to our community.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team and all the law enforcement agencies for their hard work on this case.
“Today’s guilty plea should send a message to others that are operating drug houses around the county,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to bring investigative resources together, through a variety of different task forces, to root out criminal enterprises committed to furthering illegal activity.”
This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation. The task force identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.