In some situations a VUCSA charge can involve one person that is found in possession of a controlled substance. In other cases, drug charges result as part of a larger criminal investigation. For example, according to the Seattle Police Department crime blotter, police raided a Vietnamese restaurant and a tent in the woods in the international District at the end of March. They arrested 25 suspects for a variety of crimes including drug dealing.
The bust came after a 3 month-long operation in which officers continually purchase drugs without making arrests in order to build a database of dealers and sellers. The investigation came after reports of open air drug dealing in the area. Detective Todd Jakobsen explains the tactics they used to identify the suspects:
“In a buy-and-bust you devote a lot of manpower to making one or two arrests, and then everyone disappears,” Det. Jakobsen says. “With a buy-and-slide, we identified and built rock solid cases on 26 drug dealers. We think we have the bulk of the people selling drugs in the area.”
During their surveillance, the detectives noticed that a number of drug dealers were visiting a Vietnamese establishment known as the Thanh Tam Restaurant. They were also told by an informant that drugs had been purchased from the restaurant on numerous occasions. Police obtained a warrant last week and searched the restaurant finding $17,000 in cash and 16 g of cocaine. In Washington, those involved could be charged with a class C felony for possession with the intent to deliver. If convicted they could face a $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in jail. Additionally, if the money seized cannot be proven that it was not related to drug or criminal activity, it will be forfeited to the state.
The police blotter article does not state how they decided which restaurant employees were nor who would not be charged. However, if you are facing any type of drug or VUCSA related charges in Washington, contact a Seattle drug defense attorney right away. No matter what charges you face, there are defense options available.