Man Pleads Guilty in 'Crack House' Indictment Over Vista Home

Man Pleads Guilty in 'Crack House' Indictment Over Vista Home
The siren of a police vehicle in a file photo. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
City News Service

SAN DIEGO—A man who maintained a "drug-involved premises" at his Vista property, which prosecutors said led to rampant crime in and around the North County home, pleaded guilty Jan. 4 to federal charges.

Sean Terrence Sheeter, 73, was arrested in March of 2020 during a raid of his multi-acre Poinsettia Avenue property. Prosecutors charged Sheeter with a violation of the federal "Crack House statute," which targets people who knowingly maintain a property where illegal drugs are manufactured, distributed, and used.

Prosecutors alleged Sheeter "allowed gang members, drug dealers and users to stay at the property," resulting in a slate of arrests and calls to police.

From 2017 until just before the raid occurred, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department received 53 separate calls regarding the home, including reports of stolen vehicles, thefts, disturbance calls, burglaries, grand thefts, armed suspicious persons, vandalism, and threats with a weapon, authorities said.

During that time, 22 arrests were made—mostly for drug possession and stolen vehicles—and seven citations were issued at the property, which officials say is about 100 feet from an elementary school.

According to a search warrant affidavit, the investigation into Sheeter's property stemmed from an investigation into drug sales in the North County area by local gang members, who allegedly distributed narcotics like heroin and methamphetamine smuggled out of Mexico. Several suspects targeted in the investigation lived and operated out of Sheeter's home, according to the document.

Sheeter is set to be sentenced in April. As part of his plea agreement, the home will be sold and proceeds from the sale will be forfeited to the federal government.

"This property is no longer a drug-laden refuge for violent felons, gang members, drug dealers and drug users," U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement. "We will continue to use every tool we have to bring safety to our community."