Law enforcement officers are expected to adhere to the laws that they enforce on others. But as citizens of society have seen time and time again, officers have been exposed for not being law abiding citizens themselves. Although some may perceive police officers as people with a high moral standing, they just like any other person, are not infallible and also have the ability to succumb to the temptation to break the law. A Seattle community has been left in disbelief after a prominent and longstanding officer has been arrested for being involved in a large drug sting.
According to federal prosecutors, officer Alex Chapackdee was named in a federal complaint alleging that he was a conspirator in distributing massive amounts of marijuana from the state of Washington across the nation to the East Coast. His name was listed alongside three others named Tuan Van Le, Samath Khanhphongphane and Phi Nguyen. Le, his brother-in-law, is rumored to be the ringleader of the operation. After the Seattle Police Department caught wind of the allegations and arrest, Chapackdee was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay.
A confidential informant initially tipped the FBI about officer Chapackdee's role in the illegal activities. They claim that Le was paying Chapackdee at least $10,000 a month to monitor marijuana grow houses and provide information about his counterparts' whereabouts in those areas. He was paid an additional $15,000 if he agreed to make drug runs to Maryland and Virginia. On several occasions dating back to mid-2015, Chapackdee has been accused of taking road trips to the East Coast in a motorhome to deliver the drugs. Prosecutors allege the officer even flew across the county to bring cash back to the Seattle area. After a month long investigation from his own department and the FBI, he and the other suspects were found with 184 pounds of marijuana in Maryland.
Officer Chapackdee was an active member in the community policing team, which consisted of building and maintaining relationships with community members and acknowledging “long-term and chronic problems in specific neighborhoods,” according to the department's website. He worked in the Rainier Beach, Rainier View, Brighton and New Holly neighborhoods for 16 years. As expected, members of these neighborhoods were shocked when they heard the news. Longtime South Seattle activist Mariana Quarnstrom described her reaction to the debacle.
“Alex is a kind guy,” she said I've never seen him get gruff. So you know it's really foreign to me. If you have given me all kinds of names, I never would have picked Alex. I never heard any complaints about Alex.”
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office confirmed that he will make his first court appearance next Monday afternoon.
If you are facing a drug-related charge, you deserve a quality defense to advocate for you and protect your constitutional rights. A charge does not guarantee a conviction. Contact the Law Office of Steve Karimi today for a consultation.
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