West Seattle Crime Watch: SWAT team at 41st/Edmunds

February 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 35 Comments

(Updated Wednesday morning with new information from Seattle Police)

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB, added 11:07 pm)
10:16 PM: Breaking right now – what appear to be SWAT officers making arrests in the 41st/Edmunds vicinity (map) on the south side of The Junction. Christopher Boffoli is there for WSB and says what he’s been told so far is that it’s a narcotics operation. The intersection’s blocked off, so steer clear TFN. More to come.

10:39 PM: Christopher says police at the scene confirm narcotics/SWAT officers involved, and that two people have been arrested. A car is being towed away. The intersection has just reopened.

11:30 PM: No additional details – and there may not be any before morning, if then (we’ll be checking the jail register, among other places to harvest info) – but also of note, both Christopher and WSB contributor Katie Meyer report that from observation in The Junction and from radio traffic, this was the result of a planned stakeout, with support units standing by for blocks around until the operation was over. (Christopher adds that Gang Unit detectives were seen participating, too.)

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: New details from Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson: He says this was part of a “pretty extensive ongoing undercover narcotics operation – involving Gang Unit, Southwest Anti-Crime Team, and members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.” Over the past month or so, he says, “they had been buying on several occasions from a pretty prolific drug trafficker and gangster … and yesterday they decided to do the ‘order up take down’.” They had just “concluded a transaction and moved in to make the arrest.” The suspect they were seeking is a 40-year-old with a felony criminal history; Det. Jamieson didn’t have information on what kind of drugs he allegedly was dealing, but says he was armed with a “stolen handgun” so he’s been booked into King County Jail on weapons charges as well as drug charges.

We just checked – he’s still in as of 8:30 this morning. (A quick check of his court record reveals a long list of cases, including a Court of Appeals case in he appealed his convictions for “multiple counts of driving while license suspended and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle,” challenging the terminology “immediately” rather than challenging the violations themselves. He lost.) Det. Jamieson says a 48-year-old woman was in the car with him, but she was released after being questioned at the Southwest Precinct.

35 Comments

  1. We just got turned away from driving down that street. Plain clothes swat team members directing traffic.

    Comment by Cryslou — 10:26 pm February 8, 2011 #

  2. here come the helicopters!

    Comment by add — 10:29 pm February 8, 2011 #

  3. They’d been working that area trying to bust someone a few nights ago – glad they succeeded tonight!

    Comment by Mookie — 10:31 pm February 8, 2011 #

  4. Looks like it’s finally breaking up.

    Comment by MarySheely — 10:35 pm February 8, 2011 #

  5. We’ve been observing drug deals at this intersection for the past 2 years. The dealer was using a couple of fake “real change” guys in the Junction and collecting in the neighborhood. I’d like to thank the police and everyone who tipped them off for helping to clean up the streets… this is the same intersection where a group of daycare children were enjoying a walk in the afternoon sun 8 hours earlier.

    Comment by name — 10:37 pm February 8, 2011 #

  6. These must be big-time drug dealers considering that I counted 22 police officers, including those undercover. Quite the production! Glad to see it end safely.

    Comment by Shelly — 10:49 pm February 8, 2011 #

  7. We live just south of there, and our alley is constantly overrun with suspicious activity. It’s great to see the cops making some progress.

    Comment by Erika — 10:51 pm February 8, 2011 #

  8. Lived 1 block away also. Ditto on the sketchy alley visitors.

    Comment by old neighbor — 11:24 pm February 8, 2011 #

  9. I also lived a block away on the other side of Alaska 2007-mid 2009. Walked all around there every day and never noticed anything. Maybe I was just too annoyed by the QFC construction to be aware of anything else, or maybe it’s because I lived in NYC in the mid 80′s and “Seattle sketchy” just doesn’t register with me.

    Comment by Ladyblahblah — 11:47 pm February 8, 2011 #

  10. Nice job police! I’m curious about the fake “real change” folks… There was definitely some shenanigans at the Admiral Safeway prior to construction, which has moved to the Met market now: Dudes “selling” out-of-date Real Change newspapers w/ big black marker strikes through the front page, and without proper ID badges. They were still there recently. Sketchy. Perhaps WSB could look into this angle too…

    Comment by TB — 12:22 am February 9, 2011 #

  11. Please look up our past coverage of this … Real Change folks came to the Junction Neighborhood Organization to talk about issues including fake vendors. If they don’t have a badge, they’re not a vendor. And R/C badged vendors are not supposed to sell/give their papers to fakes – if they do, they can get booted.

    Comment by WSB — 12:48 am February 9, 2011 #

  12. Looks like the police are maybe working their way through a network. Good to hear! Any word on the SWAT action from last week on 36th & Morgan?

    Comment by Yardvark — 7:38 am February 9, 2011 #

  13. I live on the hill below 41st and Edmunds. There is a lot of sketchy activity in the area…drunk people stumbling through our alley and homeless people living in the adjacent alley. The police need to step up there patrol on this area…they will for sure get some arrests! Good work on this one!

    Comment by Blair — 8:16 am February 9, 2011 #

  14. I’ve seen one of the “real” Real Change vendors (had a badge and current papers) who often sells outside the Junction Safeway making drug deals there in the past. I stopped buying my paper from him and now make a point of stopping by the PCC to buy my Real Change from the woman who sells there, even though I don’t do my grocery shopping at PCC anymore because the prices got ridiculous. Anyway, just another example of sketchiness near that corner in the Junction so great job police.

    Comment by LAintheJunction — 8:18 am February 9, 2011 #

  15. If you happen to have this comment thread bookmarked from last night please check the new details we have added above after speaking with SPD this morning … TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:25 am February 9, 2011 #

  16. I watched this whole thing from the condos on the corner. Totally intense. At one point there were 22-25 officers. I felt like I was watching a movie!

    Comment by Nora — 8:34 am February 9, 2011 #

  17. I would like t see tbe drug buyers go down as well. Keep reporting everytime you see something.

    Comment by Just me — 9:00 am February 9, 2011 #

  18. And I agree with the other comments. I have witnessed many drug deals behind the Safeway. Called the cops several times and nothing came of it. Glad there might be a little attention showcased in this little pocket.

    Comment by Nora — 9:02 am February 9, 2011 #

  19. I wish they would come and check out my block sometime. Sketchy activity in the area all the time. 15th ave SW between Elmgrove and Thistle. Seems to be the same house all the time. I know just about every block has their own problems. Maybe SPD could park an empty patrol car on troubled blocks that way creeps may stay away, just a thought. Just say’n… Thanks WSB you are the best!!!

    Comment by Just say'n — 9:19 am February 9, 2011 #

  20. I always check Real Change vendors for a ba’dge. I even asked one downtown who didn’t have it visible;friendly guy so felt safe asking. He had it.

    Comment by MindDriver — 9:45 am February 9, 2011 #

  21. I am so happy to see movement on this! I live at Fauntleroy and Edmunds and have seen much activity over the past 2 years. I walk my dog up to 4 times a day and often its at night. Over the past several months, dealers have been more visible and my neighbors and I have been taking license plate numbers and physical descriptions as we see them. Just last weekm I called the Narcotics Division to report activity. That action is being taken just makes my year!!!

    Comment by Tiff — 10:18 am February 9, 2011 #

  22. The problem is the people who buy the drugs and how convenient to come down from an apartment upstairs to pick up your groceries and score a little weed at the same time. I live across the street and see people smoking dope on their decks on a regular basis. I don’t really care that they do this frankly, but it does draw in the undesireable marketing crowd that supplies them. They should just legalize weed and that would put a bullet through the whole thing and our cops could focus on real problems, proliferation of harmful drugs and monitoring homeless addicts.

    Comment by Heath — 10:44 am February 9, 2011 #

  23. Heath – just FYI, I asked police what type of drugs this guy is accused of dealing. Det. Jamieson (who is with the media unit) didn’t have that info immediately available. Just saying that, since commenters here have wondered if it was “weed,” but until we get official info, there’s also the chance it was something else. I will add that info as soon as it’s available. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:50 am February 9, 2011 #

  24. Management at Safeway is a problem, as I am constantly calling them about the people that hang out in the bushes behind the new white Jefferson Square sign on Edmunds/41st. Police won’t respond as it’s privateproperty. Jeff Sq won’t remove the eyesore of a sign nor will they patrol the area.

    Heath – I have smelled weed com in from your building (presume you are condo) as well as from City Watch and Jeff Square… So where there is a market, the demand will be filled. Only way to curb it is to call the police.

    Comment by Nice place — 11:41 am February 9, 2011 #

  25. I get the feeling weed isnt the issue. I work in Belltown and see the crack deals as I head to bus stop after work. Then I see those same folks get on 54′s and 55′s and walk through our neighborhood. This is what got my attention over a year ago. Not ok!

    Comment by Tiff — 12:15 pm February 9, 2011 #

  26. I have a feeling also “weed” isn’t the problem….I am with Tiff on this one. I have seen the same thing/people moving in West Seattle. Too sad.

    Comment by RJB — 3:07 pm February 9, 2011 #

  27. Weed may not be the issue here but it is a problem in West Seattle. Ask any teenager, (or parent of a teenager). Most likely, he or she will know at least one kid who has been kicked out of high school for selling weed, or suspended for being high from weed, or has a juvie record for possessing weed. And, unfortunately, weed is the gateway drug to crack and heroin use.
    Hopefully, this recent police sweep will lead to a decrease in the drug activity in this area. Thanks, TR, for keeping on top of this important story. Also, thank you, alert neighbors, for notifying the SPD of the suspicious activity.

    Comment by L — 6:46 pm February 9, 2011 #

  28. L – We’ll be tracking this through the court system. I have the suspect’s name and mugshot (if someone has served time in state prison, photos are available to the media on request), awaiting word on whether he will be charged. I haven’t added this to the main story yet but his bail was set today at $50,000; we’ll update if he gets out – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:14 pm February 9, 2011 #

  29. Tiff,RJB and L you are right weed is NOT the issue here Crack probably. I do security see it all the time I’ve reported it time and time again.One SPD told me if they dont see it(THE ACTUAL DRUG ITSELF) they cant/wont do anything. Try a sniper rifle with a good suppressor(LOL) Weed is a gateway drug and also needs to be treated the same as all narcotics

    Comment by Jack Fisher — 7:49 pm February 9, 2011 #

  30. “And, unfortunately, weed is the gateway drug to crack and heroin use.”

    Not according to a study that took place over the span of 12 years:
    http://scienceblog.com/12116/study-says-marijuana-no-gateway-drug/

    I don’t mean to hijack and will let it go now so let’s not get into an off-track argument. Just thought I’d point that out. /hijack

    Comment by MarySheely — 7:50 pm February 9, 2011 #

  31. Re: “L”: Cannabis is only a problem when it’s unregulated and illegal. The worst things about pot is that it’s easy for kids to get their hands on due to lack of legitimate regulation and results in criminal charges disproportionate to the actual negative impact cannabis users have on society.

    Comment by austin — 8:00 pm February 9, 2011 #

  32. I think we need to give some credit to SPD for honoring Initiative 75. This was not about weed!!!

    Comment by Vladimir — 9:47 pm February 9, 2011 #

  33. “And, unfortunately, weed is the gateway drug to crack and heroin use.”

    Someone was paying attention in D.A.R.E.

    Comment by old neighbor — 9:59 am February 10, 2011 #

  34. Neighborhood Watch, even an informal one, is going to the best way to get these folks out of our neighborhoods. It is so important for everyone to notice what is happening around you, for your safety and others. There have been too many car and home break-ins and now we have these yahoos roaming around our backyards. Not in my neighborhood. Not on my block. Not anymore. I refuse to enable criminal behavior, can’t help it, I am a cop’s daughter. :)

    Comment by Tiff — 4:44 pm February 10, 2011 #

  35. they are jumping the fence off the back of H. C. Apartments 35 th st… some of them ”visit the people bellow ,[they are ”relocated in the apartment complex… out of my view.
    I see traffic out here day & night …PARTYING…YELLING ,SMELL OF POT drifting in my space .
    The week ends are a bus/I pack up an leave ..but ..then I stay away a lot.If its not the noise its the smell of pot!!!

    Comment by cathy — 10:12 am February 11, 2011 #

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