WS Crime Watch: 41st/Edmunds drug suspect charged, sought

(February 8th photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Ever since the police operation at 41st/Edmunds three weeks ago, we’ve been watching for charges to be filed against the man arrested that night, 40-year-old James Monroe Flowers, Jr. (At right is a photo of him that we obtained from the state Department of Corrections.) Those charges finally have been filed, and there’s a $100,000 warrant out for his arrest – he was out of jail within 24 hours of the bust. Prosecutors have filed two drug charges and one count of unlawful firearms possession. The first drug charge alleges that he “delivered [crack] cocaine” and the second alleges that he possessed cocaine with intent to manufacture or deliver it. The charging documents list a criminal history going back to 1990 and say he is a member of a known “street gang,” while also revealing more about what led up to the arrest and charges – read on:

According to the probable-cause documents, the investigation goes back to early December, when police received information from someone who said they had “purchased crack cocaine from a drug dealer (they) knew by the name of ‘JF’ … (known to) drive a gray Chevy Monte Carlo.”

The narrative goes on to say that with the aforementioned “confidential witness,” a drug buy was arranged with Flowers in early December “around the area of the Safeway at Jefferson Square … According to the (confidential witness), that is a usual meeting location for the drug deal with Flowers.” The deal for $100 of crack took place in a green 1999 Volvo that Flowers was driving when he arrived at 41st/Edmunds – south of Jefferson Square – police said, quoting the “confidential witness” as saying that Flowers called it “his girl’s car.” Police followed the car to a trailer park in Burien.

Another “controlled buy” involving Flowers and the “confidential witness” was arranged two weeks later, and it followed a similar scenario – he arrived at 41st/Edmunds in the green Volvo, sold $100 in crack, and then after dropping the buyer off, went to a High Point address described in the narrative as the address on Flowers’ driver’s license. Then in early January, the scenario was repeated, with a $200 crack purchase this time.

On February 8th, police planned to arrest Flowers, and had SWAT units on hand, the narrative says, because they had been told “he was armed with at least one handgun at all times” and they “believed (he) would be likely to flee in the vehicle or use force in an attempt to escape.” Their “confidential witness” arranged a buy; Flowers arrived in the green Volvo; SWAT units moved in and conducted “a takedown,” blocking it from the front and rear. There was a complication: The paperwork notes “a citizen pulled directly behind the suspect vehicle before the second SWAT vehicle could block it from the rear”; that citizen’s car was struck by Flowers’ Volvo, police say, when the suspect put his car in reverse and accelerated backward “in an attempt to flee.” (No word of any injuries.)

Flowers and a 48-year-old man in the car “were both called out … and taken into custody.” Searching Flowers, police say they found a .22 caliber revolver in his rear waistband, “loaded with five live rounds,” reported as having been stolen in Seattle 10 years ago. He also had $2,624 in cash.

The Volvo was impounded, and police got a warrant to search it about a day later. They say they found two clear plastic bags of crack inside – one with 22 grams, one with 49 grams (and a digital scale). Three cell phones were found in the car too, including one with the number the “witness” had called to arrange the buys.

We don’t know why it took almost two weeks for charges to be filed (the paperwork we found in online court records tonight is dated last Tuesday), but Flowers isn’t on the jail register tonight and hasn’t been since getting out the day after the February 8th arrest, which means the $100,000 warrant remains active, and he’s at large.

33 Replies to "WS Crime Watch: 41st/Edmunds drug suspect charged, sought"

  • teacup March 1, 2011 (5:52 am)

    How did he get out so quickly?

  • redblack March 1, 2011 (6:04 am)

    any word on why he was released so quickly? insufficient evidence? bad arrest?
    it seems that if SPD would have had the warrant for the car before they went after flowers on 2/8, he’d still be in jail. or are the cops saying they didn’t know he’d have a green volvo when they went after him the first time?
    also, any word on whether the volvo is still impounded? if not, can they release more details in case its seen? (i live pretty close to providence, so i kind of have a vested interest in seeing this guy off the streets again.)
    i understand the cops are angling for the biggest charges they can get against this guy and sometimes it means letting a misdemeanor go. but considering that he had a gun when they arrested him on 2/8, releasing him on 2/9 seems pretty reckless.
    also, this guy looks a lot like an aggressive panhandler who hangs around morgan junction. i can’t imagine the panhandler having the mental faculties to operate a car, though. he seems pretty whacked. but the resemblance is notable.

  • coffee March 1, 2011 (6:09 am)

    My question is with all of the cutbacks in govt services will we see more mistakes, provided his release was a mistake, going forward? I am NOT knocking the police services, rather I am much more interested if mistakes will happen more often because staff is overworked and there are not enough people to process all aspects of the crime correctly.

    • WSB March 1, 2011 (8:49 am)

      To ‘Coffee’ – the release within a day was not a mistake – he posted bond. The jail register is a quirky site and it will show you slightly different views depending on how you cross-reference, so last night while writing this I couldn’t confirm whether it was bond or “conditional,” but this morning (I checked again on the offhand chance he’d been arrested overnight) it shows the 2/9 release was on bond, with bail having been set at that time at $50,000. – TR

  • Concerned Citizen March 1, 2011 (7:24 am)

    Hmmm … Flowers has had a bad reputation for …. ever?

  • Ymous March 1, 2011 (8:25 am)

    And all of you thought he was selling that menace to society: weed.

    People most often buy weed from friends, or friends of friends

    People buy crack from skeezy guys on street corners.

  • Cclarue March 1, 2011 (9:00 am)

    Redblack, given the details of the bust 2600 $ and all that crack I’m sure it’s not the same guy, unless that’s his decoy but I doubt it. Selling all that crack is a much more profitable hustle than panhandling, unfortunatly.

  • redblack March 1, 2011 (9:26 am)

    cclarue: you know who i’m talking about, then?
    WSB: not familiar with the bond system in seattle courts, but i assume that means he posted $5,000. and the way i understand it, that bond guarantees his appearance at a trial, correct? any details on that? (sorry, but i’m not sure i have the stomach to navigate the seattle/king co. register right now.)
    i’m in the wrong business.

    • WSB March 1, 2011 (9:36 am)

      I am a generalist, not a specialist – I know we have some awesome experts with legal/law enforcement experience who lurk/post around here so maybe one of them will weigh in – but that’s my general understanding – 10 percent if you use a bailbondsperson, who usually is liable for the whole amount if you don’t show up (and if you don’t, they’ll sic a bounty hunter on you, says this ). Have met a couple of interesting bailbondspeople lately (since we are covering more hearings that happen in the jail courthouse as opposed to the general courthouse across the street) and maybe someday I’ll ask one of them to do a guest feature explaining how the system works!

  • Dale March 1, 2011 (9:26 am)

    I’d like like to see an expansion of social networking applied to block watching. As a person with disabilities, it’s difficulty getting around but I could still be valuable helping to watch out for each other.

  • Kelly March 1, 2011 (10:03 am)

    redblack–I was thinking the same thing when I saw the picture of him. Totally looks like the guy that you describe. I remember walking by him and a small group of others on California Ave across from Rite Aid last year. They were sitting in the covered bus stop with lots of permanent markers and had scattered the packaging all over the sidewalk. They were kind of scary.

  • redblack March 1, 2011 (10:21 am)

    this (alleged) loser came up with $5000 bond in a couple of hours. it takes me over a month of full employment to net that legally.
    kelly: yeah, there’s a gang of them that i’m starting to recognize between morgan and AK, and they’re all pretty much a-holes. i understand and have compassion for homeless people, but these guys are up to no good and seem to enjoy intimidating and harassing passersby.
    unfortunately, i’ve never seen them doing anything as a group other than being a-holes, which isn’t a crime – but they push the boundaries.

  • Lindsey March 1, 2011 (11:02 am)

    Wow, I was really struck by this sentence: “Searching Flowers, police say they found a .22 caliber revolver in his rear waistband, “loaded with five live rounds,” reported as having been stolen in Seattle 10 years ago.

    First, how horrible to accidentally insert yourself into a police sting! Second, TEN YEARS AGO!? That makes me wonder how many crimes it’s been used in during that time.

  • Concerned Citizen March 1, 2011 (11:22 am)

    Lindsey … it goes back to “forever”!!!!!

  • Alki resident March 1, 2011 (11:49 am)

    I went to school with James,seeing this pic brings me sadness.He needs god,had no idea he went such a bad route.I hope he can turn around before he does more damage.

  • C March 1, 2011 (1:29 pm)

    Good for you redblack….good for you & your ” take ” every month ????

    This is WHY there is a problem….. Crime does pay !

  • NotMe March 1, 2011 (1:37 pm)

    They also “hang out” at the bus stop on Admiral and California – in front of the cleaners.

  • biankat March 1, 2011 (1:45 pm)

    I’m pretty sure the bond process is fairly standard. Either put up the whole amount out-of-pocket, or visit a bail bondsman to whom you pay a fee of 10% of the bond plus collateral to cover the entire amount and he’ll cover the bond. The fee is never to be seen again. Years ago we bailed out a friend arrested on a DUI ($10K bond – used a car title; $1K fee – cold hard cash). So far we’ve been paid back $100 of that fee :)

  • Right On March 1, 2011 (2:10 pm)

    All you have to do is sit on the Metro-21; ride it up and down 35th for a few hours and you’ll find ‘im. SPD should sting that GD gas station and the bus stop by Walgreens. Amazing what you see (and smell) there.

  • coffee March 1, 2011 (4:10 pm)

    So I swear I just saw him at the bus stop on 26 and barton. I drove around the block 3 times and called 911. They actually pulled up the blog to see who I was talking about. Unfortunately the bus came while they were trying to figure out who I was talking about….

    • WSB March 1, 2011 (4:45 pm)

      Well, bless you for trying … couldn’t have done any more than that. I don’t know how they distribute word about people who have warrants out, I can only tell you there’s a warrant out …

  • coffee March 1, 2011 (4:56 pm)

    I had to laugh to myself as I was telling the operator, ok, go to, now scroll down to the story about 41st and edmonds, now scroll down and see the picture of the guy in orange, that’s the guy. At least she was helpful and took down all of the information…..

  • Camo March 1, 2011 (5:48 pm)

    Just saw him about an hour ago driving the grey Monte Carlo on 35 th turning toward the store with the cow on top.

  • jr March 1, 2011 (6:13 pm)

    I hope they catch him. What a punk. And I can guarantee he has replaced that gun by now. BTW that is a large warrant. Keep your eyes peeled (safely).

  • AP March 1, 2011 (8:52 pm)

    FYI: These doods are all street level. This guy in particular is a user and small time. Heroin, Crack, Powder, Meth, OC’s and anything else is easy to cop in the Junction. Weed? yeh right! The suppliers come from the Delrdige and theDistrict\Southend. The Police do not have a clue. The Real Change folks are coping with ur donations. No bum hops in a old school Cutlass to go for a ride. These guys are pretty much harmless the POE-POE need to step there game up and follow the paper trail

  • amused March 2, 2011 (7:18 am)

    21-year violent criminal history and out-of-jail in a matter of hours, the system does not work. Now you know why 80% of your cops live outside this amazingly screwed-up city.

  • mack2300 March 2, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    I have seen this guy weekly for the last year! You can tell he is bad news just looking at him. As mentioned above, he hangs out at bus stops and he is always at the bus stop at California and Alaska next to KeyBank. Just to reiterate what was stated above…this man is dangerous and should not be approached. If you see him…just call the Police.

  • D. March 3, 2011 (5:03 pm)

    This guys’ car was towed last week, I can see/hear it from my house (black Chevy Impala). I was hoping it was because he was in jail. I can’t believe he is OUT! Didn’t realize both SWAT stings were related (Edmonds and California). His car is always parked on California and Holly.

  • WSB March 3, 2011 (5:10 pm)

    D – I don’t have anything indicating that this SWAT-involved bust was related to the California/Holly one, or did you hear that elsewhere?

  • D. March 4, 2011 (6:06 pm)

    The guy reference above is the same guy Camo said he/she saw driving a Monte Carlo (I think it’s a Chevy Impala). He was arrested in the Green Volvo at Safeway, but drives this other car, which is parked outside on California and Holly. SWAT raided that house a few weeks back and didn’t find him. (Per neighbors). The black Impala was towed last week, but I just saw him again last night (with three other guys getting out of the car with him) walking into the same house that was raided. It’s terrible knowing he’s carrying a .22 loaded hangun and is doing the same thing he has been doing for years. Do you know when his trial date is?

  • D. March 4, 2011 (7:33 pm)

    Did not realize there is still a warrant out for his arrest. Will call 911 when I see them next !

  • westie March 9, 2011 (8:02 am)

    WSB, any update on this guy?

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