Police search two Gatewood houses in marijuana investigation

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
Seattle Police investigators spent hours at two houses in the 3500 block of SW Rose in Gatewood this afternoon and evening, confirming to WSB’s Christopher Boffoli at the scene that it’s a marijuana investigation.

They also confirmed what we had heard via the scanner earlier, that when they arrived with warrants, one house was occupied and one was not; they made forcible entry into the latter. Neighbors told Christopher they saw one person in handcuffs; police told him “no one will go to jail tonight” but that “both cases will be referred to the prosecutor’s office.”

Scanner traffic indicated that illegal marijuana growing was suspected. We don’t know yet exactly what police found and/or confiscated, but helmeted police, wearing black, arrived at mid-afternoon to serve the search warrant; evidence-gathering followed.

The two houses under investigation are separated by one house that police confirmed is not related or involved. The resident of that house told Christopher he often saw people going between the two houses. Just about all of the neighbors who talked with Christopher said they had smelled marijuana from the houses. We’re not likely to find out more about the raid before Monday.

25 Replies to "Police search two Gatewood houses in marijuana investigation"

  • alki resident November 1, 2014 (10:28 pm)

    Well that explains the strong odor every time we drive by that one block.

  • Kneedler November 1, 2014 (10:43 pm)

    Another successful raid by our boys in black. Marijuana. No matter what they tell you, the silly war on drugs is still very strong and real in this state.

    Any info on the Aid call dispatched to that address? Incident# F140119687

    • WSB November 1, 2014 (11:14 pm)

      No – I heard one in the middle of all the discussions but it could have been for someplace else – aid calls don’t generate a lot of on-air discussion, just the initial brief description, and if you miss that, you’re out of luck. They were no longer there when Christopher arrived. I’ll be asking the SFD PIO on Monday.

  • A November 1, 2014 (11:58 pm)

    I’m not anti-pot. I have smoked for years and still do. However, living next to a grow house is no fun (traffic and smells), and it seems a matter of courtesy to not grow it in a residential house in a residential neighborhood. I think common manners and common sense (by growers) is a separate matter from the ‘silly war on drugs.’ Not much of a war when it is LEGAL. A brewery and a hamburger joint don’t belong smack in the middle of a neighborhood either, it’s nothing special about weed. Get over feeling persecuted.

  • Mike November 2, 2014 (6:47 am)

    Think of it like a moonshiner, but for weed. Sure it’s ‘legal’ to smoke pot now (I put in quotes because it’s only legal in state law). However, it’s not legal to grow it without a license in a licensed facility. Commenter ‘A’ has it right. People growing at home on scale to be a distributor (drug dealer) are not exactly your finest citizens. I’d be more concerned with the traffic flow at all times of day and additional hazards it brings than the weed they’re selling.
    .
    Small grow operations can lead to big grow operations. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jul/31/five-arrested-after-discovery-of-underground/

  • Rick November 2, 2014 (7:45 am)

    At least it wasn’t okra, ya know, the gateway vegetable.

  • some guy November 2, 2014 (7:47 am)

    Pot is great, but don’t bug you neighbors, ok?

  • evergreen November 2, 2014 (8:06 am)

    The people who called it in may become victims of retaliation. Kneedler, why cite a reference number?

    • WSB November 2, 2014 (8:17 am)

      Most SPD incident numbers are usually public via the map and elsewhere; if and when they ever are linked to full reports (warrant services generally are not), the names are redacted. But in this case, that’s not an SPD case number, anyway, it’s SFD’s incident number from the 911 log. – TR

  • ladybugged November 2, 2014 (8:50 am)

    Hey, for goodness sake, why didn’t they just get a medical permit to grow. Between them, probably someone could come up with an excuse… then they could grow for themselves legally, as we had this summer in our neighborhood, and even grow for others. There is a limit to medical mj plants that could be grown, of course, but fifteen per person is a hefty amount, especially when one plant alone can grow to over six feet tall. And then they could even grow outside in the open and not have to hide- as least in the summer when everyone wants to be outside. They could abuse the neighborhood to their heart’s content, and there’s little we can do about it. Where are city/state regulations to protect citizens from any smoke, any smell!! Without that regulation, get a mask, guys, mj grow proliferation may be the wave of the future in your neighborhood – and legally. As for retaliation for reporting, yes, that certainly might happen. Be careful out there, all who long for our good, clean air of the past.

  • Nick November 2, 2014 (9:51 am)

    Medical patients grow there own cannabis which is legal so don’t be so quick to judge. There is a huge difference between a someone growing there own medicine vs a black market grower

  • John November 2, 2014 (10:13 am)

    MIke,
    “small grow operations can lead to big grow operations”. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jul/31/five-arrested-after-discovery-of-underground/

    This 17 year old report does not support your claim.
    Nowhere does it mention a small grow operation turning into a large one.
    Rather it cites an earlier bust of even more plants, 2,200 three years earlier, in 1994.
    Your citation from another era, actually contradicts what you wrote, as the growing operation was actually reduced by 200 plants.

  • cryan November 2, 2014 (11:24 am)

    This sounds like a public nuisance than a anti pot bust … Exactly why legalization is a good thing in the long run. The residential grows will start disappearing when retail prices moderate. The neighbors in Gatewood have every right to know whats going on.

  • Kneedler November 2, 2014 (12:22 pm)

    Colorado does it right: Adults aged 21 or older can grow up to six cannabis plants (with no more than half being mature flowering plants) privately in a locked space, legally possess all cannabis from the plants they grow (as long as it stays where it was grown).

    These raids are stupid as far as I’m concerned.

  • ladybugged November 2, 2014 (1:16 pm)

    Dear Nick (above), you’d hardly consider me quick to judge when I have to breath the marijuana smoke and fumes when I’m home both day and night, day after day, can’t go outside without mask and even open a car door in the morning and it’s full of mj fumes because I left the window cracked. It even comes in the dryer vent and whiffs of mj come off my clothes as I iron. With the summer grow this year the fumes were relentless. The side of my house near my pot-smoking/growing neighbor still smells so much of mj so that I have difficulty being there. Frankly, I couldn’t care less if people smoke or snort or eat their drug (though I am concerned with the smoking/growing neighbor’s children who are in the midst of it, and even had their children’s playhouse set up beside the mj plant, and perhaps wonder why their little tyke cries so much. I cry from mj sometimes because it hurts my body so much.). But you have no right to make us have to breathe your drug! That stuff evidently causes permanent brain changes, even with light use. I get headaches, nose and eyes sting, my skin even stings, I come in the house smelling like marijuana, and after a particularly odoriferous Sunday when I had to be outside and had to breathe too much fumes, my side hurt, I was sick the next two days because I couldn’t catch my breath. Sooner or later, they will finally “discover” that yes, like tobacco, second-hand mj smoke is a health hazard and the lawsuits will begin. Till then, Nicki, the mj smokers and “medical” mj growers will no doubt continue to afflict us and think it’s their “right.” Until the regulations change to protect the normal citizen, we are prisoners of any bloke who comes along and wants to poison our world. And, according to the head of the NIDA, surprise to potheads, mj is poison. It is not a benign substance. Remember, it is a drug. But it is Your drug, not Ours! Stop forcing it on us!
    I think some people smoke when and where they do just order to harass others, like the woman who smokes on her front porch across from the John Stanford elementary school in the morning as the children are coming to school. No doubt she’d claim medical marijuana needs also as an excuse. Go ahead and smoke and grow it. But keep it to yourself! You want to damage your brain, go ahead. But don’t damage ours! Exhale into a bag, smoke in a closed structure or something, just keep it to yourself! Putting that into others’ air should be assault! We have a right to breathable air in our own yards, on our own streets!

  • Mike November 2, 2014 (1:21 pm)

    See John, you read one thing and jumped to conclusions. The individuals involved in Moses Lake/Warden area didn’t just jump into big containers, they started out small. If you do some Googling on Staat, you’ll find a nice welcoming neighborly family of Staat’s in Moses Lake, like the one that starved their kid to be brain dead.
    .
    Do all pot growers end up being bad. No. Do operations like the one busted have greater potential to include people who are also doing even worse, yes. You CAN legally grow your own (not for friends, not for sale unless you’re licensed) but you do need to do it legally under restrictions that are there to help prevent things like that “other era” which happens on a weekly basis still. The mentality that it should just be a free for all grow operation and smoke it if you got it, is dumb. That’s like me saying, to hell with society, I’m going to drink 10 Elysian IPA’s and go drive my car…it ‘should’ be legal. NO, it shouldn’t, and it isn’t, for a reason.

  • Rae November 2, 2014 (2:17 pm)

    Pot stinks! Yes, I am glad it was legalized, but the skunk smell is disgusting. On the other hand, I’m glad it doesn’t smell like warm chocolate-chip cookies, or I’d be a pothead for sure!
    Funny thing: I know a lot of smart, successful people who smoke weed, but whenever I walk around Victor Steinbrueck Park near the market, the main section is filled with tourists and locals enjoying the view, while the side section is filled with less-than-savory folks enjoying their stinky weed. So, yep, NIMBY to people who grow more than a couple plants in their house. It’s just gross.

  • flimflam November 2, 2014 (4:55 pm)

    so strange to demonize this plant. even moreso now that its been “legalized” here…its only legal if the state gets their cut.

  • Shae November 2, 2014 (5:26 pm)

    Dear ladybugged (above), you’d hardly consider me quick to judge when I have to breath the exhaust smoke and fumes when I’m home both day and night, day after day, can’t go outside without mask and even open a car door in the morning and it’s full of exhaust fumes because I left the window cracked. It even comes in the dryer vent and whiffs of car exhaust come off my clothes as I iron. With the summer drives this year the fumes were relentless. The side of my house near my car driving neighbor still smells so much of gasoline so that I have difficulty being there. Frankly, I couldn’t care less if people drive or offroad or idle their cars (though I am concerned with the gearhead neighbor’s children who are in the midst of it, and even had their children’s playhouse set up beside the car, and perhaps wonder why their little tyke cries so much. I cry from exhaust sometimes because it hurts my body so much.). But you have no right to make us have to breathe your exhaust! That stuff evidently causes permanent brain changes, even with light use. I get headaches, nose and eyes sting, my skin even stings, I come in the house smelling like car fumes, and after a particularly odoriferous Sunday when I had to be outside and had to breathe too much fumes, my side hurt, I was sick the next two days because I couldn’t catch my breath. THEY KNOW FOR SURE that car exhaust is a health hazard and the lawsuits will begin. Till then, Nicki, the car drivers and “professional” auto mechanics will no doubt continue to afflict us and think it’s their “right.” Until the regulations change to protect the normal citizen, we are prisoners of any bloke who comes along and wants to poison our world. And, according to the head of the NIDA, surprise to gearheads, car exhaust is poison. It is not a benign substance. Remember, it is a carcinogen. But it is Your carcinogen, not Ours! Stop forcing it on us!
    I think some people drive when and where they do just order to harass others, like the woman who drives on her street across from the John Stanford elementary school in the morning as the children are coming to school. No doubt she’d claim transportation needs also as an excuse. Go ahead and drive and rev it. But keep it to yourself! You want to damage your brain, go ahead. But don’t damage ours! Attach a bag to your tailpipe, floor it in a closed structure or something, just keep it to yourself! Putting that into others’ air should be assault! We have a right to breathable air in our own yards, on our own streets!

  • AJP November 2, 2014 (7:11 pm)

    Actually, car exhaust has been and is continually regulated and systems have been invented to try and let as little as possible out of cars. Someday, hopefully, exhaust will be a thing of the past. One neighbor turning on and using their car in a normal fashion isn’t much of a bother. A neighbor running a mechanic shop with a lot of cars and chemicals, or just continuously running their classic cars or motorcycles right next to your house, would certainly be cause for complaint. Want a few MJ plants for your own use? Fine. Grow a ton of them? It becomes a problem. I feel for you, ladybug.

  • Mike November 2, 2014 (7:28 pm)

    I think Shae wants the fed to step in and require O2 sensors and catalytic converters for pot and tobacco smokers. Granted you can eat, drink and consume weed many ways, but everyone MUST smoke it…that’s what the cool kids do. The people with cancer, they’ll just suffer when the whining pot heads ruin what the laws really passed for.

  • ladybugged November 2, 2014 (8:26 pm)

    Thanks, AJP. I really appreciate the support. It’s been a very tough six months.
    And, Shae, as AJP pointed out, you do bring up a comparable situation. If someone were running their car next to your house day after day, night after night, and I knew about it (or smoking tobacco in an obtrusive way or using paint fumes that filled your yard or using constant, smelly, noxious anything… ), I’d be among the first to come to your aid. That should not be. But this summer I had to go out to the alley, actually closer to the main road, to get some better air than was in my yard because of the neighbor’s mj smoke/fumes. That also should not be. If you are even having recreational fires, that is ok and usually legally allowed – “everyone” does it. But if it harms your neighbor, your neighbor has the right to complain and you have to put it out, as the Puget Sound Clean Air Act says: “It’s always illegal to smoke out your neighbor.” How much more so should a neighbor not plague another with their drug fumes. There must be ways to use/(legally)grow without abusing the neighbors.

  • John November 2, 2014 (10:00 pm)

    There are recognized air-borne threats to our health that we are subjected to whenever we step outdoors. Among them are carcinogens in gas and particulate materials including lead, asbestos, exhaust fumes and fireplace smoke.
    These are real health threats.

    ladybugged perception and sensitivity begs rational belief.

    Is ladybugged’s post as a whole factually challenged and anti-pot driven?

    We are in Seattle, it is 2014, how can one claim, “That stuff evidently causes permanent brain changes, even with light use.”?

    Surprise to the anti-pot crusading ladybugged, the head of NIDA writes,
    “Does NIDA permit or fund studies on therapeutic benefits of marijuana or its constituent chemicals?

    Yes. Research suggests that THC and/or other cannabinoids (chemicals that act on the same receptors as THC in the brain and body) may have potential in the treatment of pain, nausea, obesity, wasting disease, addiction, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions. NIDA has provided and continues to provide funding for research related to therapeutic uses of cannabinoids, as it pertains to its mission, including studies on the use of THC and cannabidiol, another chemical constituent of marijuana, for the treatment of pain (as an alternative to opioid pain relievers), addiction, and other disorders. For example, one currently ongoing study is examining the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol which may lead to new treatment options for people with schizophrenia. View the list of current NIDA-funded projects related to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis or cannabinoids.”

  • John November 2, 2014 (10:22 pm)

    Mike
    Yes, I did read one thing (your post) and jumped to conclusions only after following the links you provided.
    None of them support your claims and they are decades old.
    I don’t understand the link to another Moses Lake case, “Staat’s in Moses Lake, like the one that starved their kid to be brain dead.” If you Google as Mike suggested, you read about parents that denied Western Medicine to their child, refused to vaccinate him, and a mother who took a stomach ache as a sign from god to not seek medical care for her child. The parents had consulted Chinese herbalists, naturalpaths and homeopaths. A small amount of marijuana was recovered from a locked room in their house. What’s the connection?

  • ScubaFrog November 3, 2014 (10:51 am)

    If only the police would take that energy – and put it into investigating/deterring our car thefts… Bait cars would be a good start. Seattle is easily in the top 10 auto-theft cities nationwide. Other cities’ police departments have taken steps to address their car theft problems.

  • WSB November 4, 2014 (10:09 am)

    For anybody still checking back here, I’m still trying to get the reports from SPD. Whenever I do, we’ll publish a followup.

  • John November 4, 2014 (10:25 am)

    ScubaFrog,
    California cities — especially those in the Central Valley — topped the list of metropolitan areas with the highest automobile theft rates last year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

    Bakersfield topped the national list, followed by Fresno, Modesto, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Stockton-Lodi region and Redding.

    Spokane, Wash., was seventh nationally and the only city in the top 10 outside of California. It was followed by the Vallejo-Fairfield region, San Jose and Yuba City.

  • ladybugged November 6, 2014 (10:46 pm)

    Hi, John. I finally have a chance to get back to you. Ok. In response to your comments.
    Yes, I have been sensitized to mj. That is true. Even vaporizer fumes (those thick white vapors that smell like burned something) sting my nostrils and give me a headache. It may take a little longer, but after five-ten minutes out in it, there comes the headache.

    But, frankly, I held back in my statements about the effects I have. I also had a facial tic one weekend before I found a more effective mask (look this up on the internet—there are many statements of users that mj started or worsened tics, and I’ve read it in some library books also). I had a racing heart one evening after substantial exposure. Changes in heart rate are a commonly cited effect of mj. And there are the two Germans whose heart failure deaths are attributed directly to mj as neither had previous heart problems. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2568326/Smoking-cannabis-CAN-kill-German-researchers-identify-two-men-died-purely-result-using-drug.html. (this is not the only death from mj. Other sites note miscarriages, in-utero fetal death – look it up.)

    An additional effect is the depression I had this summer with mj exposure. But mostly the effect I have is anger. Pure, strong anger that it is allowed that anyone can subject us to this drug of their choice, put this in our bodies and our brains and there’s nothing we can do about it. If I forced you even to drink water, that would be considered a crime. But any pothead can blow his drug into the air and we have to breathe it. That should be a crime. If you have a right to breathe this drug, we should have a right not to breathe it. Something you evidently don’t want to allow.

    Am I anti-pot? Well I am fast becoming that. I used to think, “do what you want.” But when what you want is to abuse others with your drug, then, yes, I’m definitely anti-pot.

    As for “We are in Seattle, it is 2014, how can one claim, “That stuff evidently causes permanent brain changes, even with light use.”? Here’s the reference and, yes, thank you, I do need to qualify it by saying it is a study of smokers 18-25 y/o. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/education/edlife/this-is-your-brain-on-drugs-marijuana-adults-teens.html Full study: http://jn.sfn.org/press/April-16-2014-Issue/zns01614005529.pdf
    “. Even in the seven participants who smoked only once or twice a week, there was evidence of structural differences in two significant regions of the brain. The more the subjects smoked, the greater the differences….” “… And last year at Northwestern, Dr. Breiter and colleagues also saw changes in the nucleus accumbens among adults in their early 20s who had smoked daily for three years but had stopped for at least two years.”: “They had impaired working memories as well. “Working memory is key for learning,” Dr. Breiter said. “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be marijuana.”
    And here’s one for you, in case you might be concerned about your feathered friends.. “Second-hand smoke from marijuana can also cause severe depression and regurgitation in birds.”
    http://beautyofbirds.com/topbirdkillers.html

    And I’m not the only one who is bothered. I wondered at first if I was, then started looking on line and found many of my effects from second-hand mj are others’ second-hand-smoke or smell effects also. And as for grows, Phoenix, Oregon is dealing with problems from home grows from medical mj as well. “Mayor Jeff Bellah stressed the city has no interest in debating the medical marijuana law, only in balancing the needs of patients and growers with the right of city residents to be free from noxious odors in their neighborhoods….But growers of medical cannabis should not get some kind of special dispensation to annoy their neighbors simply because they are producing medicine that patients need.”http://www.kval.com/politics/Opinion-Protect-neighbors-from-pot-stink-241324041.html

    Now, be honest, if mj didn’t give a “high” you wouldn’t give it a second thought, despite “medical effects.”

    Oh, and as for NIDA, yes, of course they are investigating both sides of the mj issue. But their site states, “…clinical evidence has not shown that the therapeutic benefits of the marijuana plant outweigh its health risks.”

    You want it? Fine. You got it. But leave the rest of us out of it. Please have some consideration.

    I think that’s it for me on this article. Nice chatting with you all.

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