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Federal agents, SPD arrest 9 in CD drug and firearm investigation

A team of federal and local law enforcement agencies arrested nine people Wednesday following an investigation into firearms and narcotics dealing around 23rd and E Union.

According to the FBI’s Seattle division, investigators identified a hierarchy of narcotics distributors operating around 23rd and Union, which led them to a house near Beacon Hill Elementary School. At the house, the task force recovered cocaine, around $22,000 in cash, and an assault rifle.

The operation was a combined effort of the FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force, ATF Puget Sound Crime Gun Taskforce, and the Seattle Police Department. The FBI says the investigation is ongoing as law enforcement agencies continue to identify individuals involved.

FBI spokesperson Ayn Dietrich-Williams told CHS those arrested were not necessarily detained at 23rd and Union. “It was all pretty fluid,” she said. The FBI provided the following list of those arrested in the operation:

  • Johnny Marshall, 34, arrested for a narcotics and a firearms violation
  • Dion White, 40, arrested for a narcotics and a firearms violation
  • Cornielous Morris, 31, arrested for robbery
  • Roman Allah, 24, arrested for a narcotics violation
  • Sandy Varavongsa , 27, arrested for her involvement as Allah’s driver during narcotics purchases
  • Robert Mitchell, 43, arrested for a narcotics violation
  • Leonidis Major, 28, arrested for possession of stolen property
  • Edmund Cummings, 55, arrested for a Washington State Department of Corrections warrant
  • Members of the task force also re-booked Derrick Whitner, 22, already housed the at King County Regional Justice Center, for an additional firearms violation
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Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor
5 years ago

3rd Eye
3rd Eye
5 years ago

Thank you for getting some of these dudes. We have a long way to go to clean up the corner but this is a start. Why did the SPD need federal agents? I go to the post office everyday and could tell you who a few of those dudes were. Not very discrete in their dealings.

Phil Mocek
5 years ago

So, there is no indication of just what laws these people were accused of violating? In cop-speak in a federal context “a narcotics violation” could mean cannabis possession.

olan
olan
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

Except cannabis is not illegal to possess, so probably not that. Meth, coke, heroin.

RWK
RWK
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

Cannabis is not a “narcotic” …..it is classified as a Schedule I drug federally, but it is not a narcotic pharmacologically. You’re barking up the wrong tree here, Phil.

Phil Mocek
5 years ago
Reply to  RWK

In police jargon, any drug that we’re prohibited by law from having is a narcotic. The use “narcotics” as synonymous with “drugs.” And possession of cannabis is unlawful under federal law.

Brian
Brian
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

Phil, both the article and the link provided in the article state that cocaine was recovered during the raid. The link goes on to say that the possession was in violation of VUCSA. What’s police jargon for “click on the damn link provided!”

seattlecarol
seattlecarol
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

For those unable to click or just like to argue about arguing, here are some of the details:
” At the home, the task force recovered cocaine, approximately $22,000 in cash, an assault rifle, and a vehicle and detained resident Dion White, 40, on probable cause related to violation of the uniform controlled substance act (VUCSA) and violation of the uniform firearms act (VUFA).

A second warrant on a home in the 25000 block of 131st Place Southeast in Kent, WA led law enforcement officials to seize cocaine, a handgun, and cash.”

SPD needs the FBI and as stated “other agencies” to have the camera at 23rd & Union.

Trigger word: “Camera”
Argue on.

Phil Mocek
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

My question was about the list Brian provided here, not about the other article.

I read the other article. It doesn’t say what laws anyone was accused of violating. It implies many things, but states nothing more specific about any potential drug prohibition violations than that two people were arrested “on probable cause related to violation of VUCA and of VUFA.” It also accuses four of the six people named in the article of nothing more than robbery, driving someone who bought drugs, possession of unspecified stolen property, and an unspecified type of warrant for unspecified reasons.

Everything in there would be accurate if the feds had, say, found small quantities of cocaine and cannabis and then arrested everyone in sight on hunches that they must have done something wrong and/or would be likely to plead guilty if they were arrested, threatened, and offered a plea bargain.

Drug warriors are going to trump up everything they can every time they can in order to maintain support for the failed war on drugs. When they offer vague information like that which FBI published and CHS regurgitated, they’re almost certainly counting on readers to assume that there was something more serious going on than that which the agents can justifiably claim.

If they found some huge quantity of cocaine indicating they’d nabbed significant players (rather than low-level dealer-addicts and lookouts, etc.) or had anybody red-handed for anything significant, don’t you suppose they would be crowing about it instead of using all those vague statements and wiggle-words?

Phil Mocek
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Correction: I mean to write that the FBI piece about their big drugs-and-guns bust doesn’t say what gun control or drug prohibition laws anyone was accused of violating. As I wrote, it accuses people of possessing unspecified stolen goods and of robbery.

RWK
RWK
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Phil, with all due respect, I think you’re trying much too hard to paint these arrests as some kind of police misconduct. They just arrested some people on drug and firearms violations, which is what they are supposed to do.

Phil Mocek
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Bob, I wasn’t trying to paint them as anything. I hoped that a reporter would have asked the FBI just what these people have been accused of doing, since the press release mostly doesn’t specify. All signs point to the idea that the feds are making a big deal out of something insignificant in order to justify their various “war on drugs” efforts. Let’s call them on it. When people in our community are arrested for unspecified reasons related to federal drug policy, I think we should demand details.

jseattle
Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

There’s always more to report, Phil. You know we’re not done.

Phil Mocek
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Thanks, Justin. From your and Bryan’s previous good work, it would be reasonable to suspect you’re not finished with this story.

Please take caution not to help spread drug war propaganda. I think the vague nature of FBI’s report is an important part of the story. They can and likely regularly do spread lots of implications and achieve their desired effect, then, once public attention has passed, follow up later, if at all, with details that would diminish the impact of their earlier statement.

DB McWeeberton
DB McWeeberton
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pBougV1JK4

Saw this sketch from W/Bob & David last night…reminded me so much of a Phil Mocek video!

bob schmoot
bob schmoot
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

Yes Phil. Let’s ensure that these street pharmacists weren’t arrested for dealing Advil before we pass judgment. I’m sure the neighbors in the area are much more concerned about making sure that these fine upstanding gentlemen were properly treated by the authorities than the fact that they no longer have these types of things happening in their neighborhood. Ask anyone who lived on Hilltop in the 80’s how it felt to not feel safe in your own neighborhood due to these types of individuals basically intimidating everyone and bringing other nefarious and likewise seedy types to the neighborhood for the sole purpose of purchasing and using narcotics. I’m sorry Phil by my safety and my neighbors safety trumps and anti-law enforcement sentiments that you are attempting to insert. Painting criminals to be angels seems to be the latest past time du jour for many.

Phil Mocek
5 years ago
Reply to  bob schmoot

I’m not anti-enforcement-of-law or anti-police. I’m anti-war-on-drugs. I’m anti-federal-drug-policy.

How is noting that FBI didn’t bother to mention just of what prohibition violations two of the six people listed (other four were accused on non-drug-related offenses) have been accused of “painting criminals to be angels?”

In this country, we’re supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Not only have these people not had their day in court, the drug warriors didn’t even say what they’re accused of doing.

Bob School
Bob School
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

Violation of VUCSA which encompasses narcotics deemed to be illegal. They mentioned cocaine so more than likely, it is cocaine possession and or sale they were arrested for. What more exactly are you hoping to hear? And, what purpose does it serve anyone to publicly inform the masses about each and every arrest any LE agency makes? If anything, it makes getting a fair trial harder because now information is out that May or may not be admissible in court all in the name of transparency and appeasing the current anti-LE public agenda.

NM
NM
5 years ago

Finally! How could these thugs have operated in plain site for so long?

Massive speculation here – I fear that the SPD rank and file wanted to send a message to the public in order to engender support – to wit: if you think we act too violently, then deal with these problems yourself. I’ve even heard that their tolerance for these thugs was meant to show that the SPD OL’boys weren’t going to be pushed around by some newby from BeanTown. Maybe the FEDs were brought in to demonstrate what real police work looks like to the union.

jc
jc
5 years ago
Reply to  NM

“How could these thugs have operated in plain site for so long?”

The dealers were just the front men. busting them at the corner would have been a game of cat-and-mouse; the drug ring could always send others, and move them to a different site. Instead the police have taken the whole operation down, with nine arrests and more to come. This takes more time.

NM
NM
5 years ago
Reply to  jc

These thugs were at the parking lot and coffee shop at the post office for the past ten years. You had to be pretty naive not to be aware of their game. If you lived in the area or used the post office – you either saw it or pretended that you did not see it. The fuzz knew, the neighborhood knew – not enough people demanded that something be done. We get what we deserve.

bb
bb
5 years ago

The real dealers are not these little guys but the cartels that operate unhindered in this country.

III
III
5 years ago
Reply to  bb

That’s the most accurate statement I’ve seen in a very long time. The guys on the property are just the front line.

Jim98122x
Jim98122x
5 years ago

I wonder if Sawant finally knows where 23rd and Union is, yet?

Joe
Joe
5 years ago

Guess I’m not surprised to see Roman’s name on this list. He’s got a long, long, history of getting in trouble. One would have thought his last brush with the law:

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Police-Seattle-felon-left-gun-out-for-valet-4831049.php

would have had some repercussions. But clearly violating state gun laws doesn’t amount to much…