The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed eight felony charges against the West Seattle man whose arrest followed warrant searches that found drugs, guns, and cash. 40-year-old David Vasquez is charged with six counts of drug violations plus one count of money laundering and one count of unlawful gun possession. The police narrative accompanying the charging documents is 11 pages long and tells a tale of a months-long investigation, prefaced by this case summary from prosecutors:
The impetus for investigating the defendant in this case arose from the overdose of a three-month-old baby. This overdose was the result of fentanyl, the product the defendant was knowingly selling under the guise of M30 oxycodone pills.
The police narrative explains that the baby died almost a year ago in Southeast Seattle, apparently ingesting the fentanyl through breast milk. Eight months later, the death was ruled a homicide.
The baby was not related to Vasquez. But when police searched the parents’ home, the charging documents say, they found drugs and paraphernalia. The investigation led police to their alleged drug dealer, who they addressed as “Benny” but who police say was Vasquez.
Once police identified “Benny” as Vasquez, the narrative says, an undercover invetigation began. It included multiple drug buys, by undercover officers, at multiple locations in and outside of West Seattle. Factoring into that part of the narrative is an incident covered here – police gunfire behind the Admiral Pub on October 24th. The narrative doesn’t go deeply into detail, aside from detailing an undercover buy at the pub that night, then saying “There was a disturbance at the rear of the bar not long after this narcotics transaction involving Vasquez and several others. He was observed staggering through the pub from the back door,” then leaving with another man through the front door, departing in that man’s pickup truck.
Subsequent buy locations detailed in the narrative included the Admiral Safeway parking lot, the Metropolitan Market parking lot, and the Ballroom Lounge in north Seattle. Police wrote that their surveillance also followed Vasquez to Life Storage in Luna Park and an apartment he had rented at The Whittaker in The Junction, though he also had a house near 41st/Hinds. The Whittaker is where police say they arrested him just before 3 pm last Friday. Meantime, police say the money-laundering investigation revealed that the suspect had started an LLC through which he processed tens of thousands of dollars and used some of it to pay his rent. As for the gun charge, police say he had a .45-caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun at the time of his arrest, illegal for him to possess because he has a felony conviction, attempted burglary, in 1997. Other convictions listed in charging documents are also from the ’90s, when he was a teenager, including two cases of taking a motor vehicle without permission.
Prosecutors asked that his original $100,000 bail, on which he posted bond and was released last weekend, be raised to $250,000, and that request was granted. Vasquez is due back in court February 10th for arraignment.