Washington motel owners face drug charges after more than 400 officers and agents were involved in a search and seizure operation led by the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives with Tukwila police. The search and seizure operation was conducted in response to an alleged scheme whereby motel owners made money by charging drug dealers or prostitutes a nightly rate and then the clients a cover charge. The agents and officers raided and closed all three motels, as they are thought to have been used by crack cocaine dealers as the locations of their drug dealing and related prostitution activities.
The three motels became conspicuous to police due to the frequency of calls for service. They constituted 17 percent of the Tukwila Police Department's total calls for service in 2011 and 2012, according to court records. They have been the sites of rapes, robberies, assaults, drug deals and prostitution, among other crimes. Investigators used undercover detectives and informants to arrange crack deals with the defendants. Motel owners were notified that they had become nuisance sites but the warning went without changes in behavior. Foreclosure awaits the motels pursuant to the rules of forfeiture. Residents of the motels were advised to find new homes.
Prosecutors filed charges against the seven men for cocaine distribution and attempted cocaine dealing. Police arrested four of the seven men during Tuesday's sweep. The accused men are thought to have made hundreds of thousands of dollars from their criminal enterprises.
Cocaine dealing and distribution charges are very serious and if they result in a conviction, could result in the accused serving a lengthy prison sentence. With the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney, however, an accused might be able to investigate the procedures surrounding the arrest. If the police did not follow the specific laws designed to protect the rights of an accused in the search and seizure process or if they failed to follow the rules regarding arrest and evidence, it is possible that the charges may be reduced or even dismissed entirely.
Source: Seattle Pi, "Feds raid Tukwila motels in drug investigation", Lynsi Burton, August 27, 2013
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