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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Drug Bust on the Ave Turns Up Mostly Marijuana Dealers

Posted by on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Undercover detectives completed an investigation last week of drug trafficking on the Ave, resulting in 24 criminal cases, 18 of which are suspected of trafficking marijuana. The sweep was the culmination of a six-month undercover operation in response to complaints that street dealers were eroding the quality of life in the U-District.

Sergeant Sean Whitcomb reported yesterday on the SPD blotter:

During the course of the operation, undercover personnel sought out and purchased drugs. Buyers were looking for ‘hard’ drugs, like crystal meth, cocaine and heroin. It quickly became apparent that dealers were mostly selling marijuana. Small quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine and a handgun were also purchased.

Turns out that marijuana dealers actually accounted for the majority of the problem. In the spirit of I-502, Seattle Police coordinated with the King County Prosecutor’s Office to forge ahead with an innovative approach to equitably deal with those responsible.

Six of the twenty-four alleged dealers were handed cease-and-desist letters rather than being arrested, a strategy borrowed from the Drug Market Initiative that has the added benefit of not challenging prosecutors in a city that no longer gives a shit about pot use. Those who were arrested for dealing pot were also suspected of dealing other drugs, or had been convicted of prior offenses. Sergeant Whitcomb said over the phone that they continued to pursue marijuana dealers during the investigation, knowing that many of them sell harder drugs like coke or meth to clients they've built a relationship with through dealing pot.

I asked Sergeant Whitcomb if he looks forward to a time when his detectives don't have to trail marijuana dealers for a six-month stretch. He said, "We're looking forward to marijuana being regulated and sold by the state."

After the investigation, the suspects' pot was returned to them, since possession of up to an ounce is perfectly legal.


Comments (14) RSS

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Dougsf 1
Not a total waste of time—glad there was no reason to prosecute the majority of them—since I'd expect people selling alcohol without a liquor license to be investigated as well.
Posted by Dougsf on April 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Buy/bust operations like these are wasteful, ineffective and Constitutionally dubious.
Posted by DOUG. on April 2, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
Doesn't easy access to pot qualify as quality of life in the U District? I always assumed that was one of the key attractions to living in that area.
Posted by SuperSteve on April 2, 2013 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Well when there are 4 or 5 dispensaries opened in the U District, why the hell do you want to buy off of the street? Also, it's a good thing the cops are busting the dealers on the Ave. Tell them to leave the area also ensures they don't turn into armed robbers like what we saw last autumn. I live in the U District and have always been watching my back when walking around that area since the armed muggings started happening
Posted by apres_moi on April 2, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Ballard Pimp 5
I had the same thought, Steve. Pot dealers don't "erode" the quality of life in the U-District; they ARE the quality of life in the U-District. They have been for at least fifty years.
Posted by Ballard Pimp on April 2, 2013 at 5:01 PM · Report this
theophrastus 6
@1, yeah "waste of time" and money. can you imagine how much this entire mostly null result cost the city? the mayor ought to be asked that question.
Posted by theophrastus on April 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
7 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
So, you folks want any old thug selling liquor on your street corners 24 hrs a day?
Posted by Pot is legal AND regulated u stupid hippies on April 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM · Report this
Poor white liberals, didn't realize pot legalization would put street dealers out if business. Maybe you can start a social justice program for them?
Posted by Gub'ment aid to minority drug dealers? on April 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 10
Oh my, oh Lordy! There are drug dealers on The Ave! I swear, I do declare, my heart is suffering from palpata-shuns. Hand me my smelling salts, I've got to lie down. Please call the Mayor & tell him of this monstrous new development in our fair city!
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on April 2, 2013 at 7:13 PM · Report this
@10 Not so funny if you're one of the many people accosted by knife and gun wielding drug dealers and their customers along the Ave every year.

But don't worry, legalization will put your friends, the street thugs, out of business fast; I'm pretty sure they're far too stupid to do payroll taxes, sales taxes, sick leave, and all the other regulatory bullshit liberals have created in Seattle for small businesses.
Posted by Pot is about to become the rich white man's business on April 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 12
@4- You don't buy from the dispensaries because you don't have a prescription. Perhaps you don't feel like engaging in fraud to obtain one from a doctor as you don't have a medical condition. Perhaps you don't want to pay for a piece of paper.

Muggings in the Udistrict didn't start last fall, muggings in the Udistrict have been constant since I started living in Seattle 7 years ago. I would not be surprised to hear it's been going on a lot longer than that. Drunk students make attractive targets.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on April 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM · Report this
After the state cartel begins selling dope for $15 a gram, the police will still be busting street dealers. At that point, it will be a matter of eliminating competition. It will be a never ending battle, given that the state cartel will be trying to defend a price that will be 150 times the cost of production.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 3, 2013 at 11:57 AM · Report this
@13- It costs about $4 ($4.06 by my math) to make a good quality gram. Quit making up numbers you know nothing about!! It does however cost under $2 a gram if I work with no pay.
Posted by Knows stuff on April 3, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this

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