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Seizure and Forfeiture: Washington State Drugs and Crime Lab Statistics

Posted by Steve Karimi | Oct 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

At the University of Washington's Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, they have created interactive charts that showcase drug trends across the state. In one particular focus area, the Institute has compiled “Crime Lab” data. Crime Lab data reflects drugs that have been seized by local and state law enforcement, as well as by federal and other law enforcement agencies operating within the state of Washington. The drugs seized have been sent to crime labs for testing as potential evidence. The Crime Lab cases present three different categories of drugs.

  • Major drugs: includes the most common categories of drugs that have been available for many years.
  • Opioids: includes heroin, drugs legitimately used for pain and/or opioid use disorder treatment, and a class of synthetic opioids, the fentanyl analogs, only some of which are approved for medical use.
  • New and emerging psychoactives: includes mostly synthetic drugs developed for their cannabis-like, hallucinogenic, and/or stimulating properties. This represents an ever-changing set of drugs, many of which are initially or presently legal because they have not yet been controlled or made illegal by the DEA.”

The Crime Lab statistics range from 2002 to 2017.

Major Drugs Seized by Law Enforcement in Washington State

The Crime Lab statistics include major drugs seized in the state of Washington between 2002 and 2017 are categorized as follows.

Methamphetamines Seized in Washington State

The top three major drugs seized and sent to Washington State crime labs from 2002 to 2017 are methamphetamines, cocaine, and cannabis. Looking at the methamphetamine statistics, interactive charts shoe that since 2002 methamphetamines have had the highest rate of seizure by law enforcement in Washington State. In 2002, there were 5,067 cases that involving seized methamphetamines being sent to the crime lab. Law enforcement seizure of methamphetamines hit its peak in 2005 when there were 9,677 crime lab cases. In 2009, methamphetamine seizures dipped slightly below 3,000 cases but have remained consistently near 5,000 cases since 2013. In 2017, law enforcement sent seized methamphetamine to the crime lab 4,964 times. 

Seizure and Forfeiture of Personal Property in Washington State

If you have been accused of a drug crime in Washington, there are very serious potential penalties that you could face. However, in addition to criminal charges, “drug crime suspects are also subject to personal property seizures and forfeitures by law-enforcement.” The following property may be seized in connection with a drug crime case.

  • Any and all controlled substances which have been manufactured including any hazardous chemicals used to produce the controlled substance.
  • Any material and equipment used or intended for use in the drug crime.
  • Any vehicle or vessel which may have been used to transport or deliver drugs.
  • All drug paraphernalia.
  • Any and all money that is believed to have been used or was intended to be used in the drug crime.
  • Books, records, and research materials.
  • Any real estate where the drug crime took place.

A severe example of law enforcement seizure in relation to a drug crime took place in 2014 when the police seized a home belonging to the parents of a suspected drug dealer in Philadelphia.

Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi

An arrest for a drug crime in Washington State is very serious—especially, when it comes to the seizure and forfeiture of personal property. For that reason, you need to retain the services of an experienced Seattle defense attorney as soon as possible. As a former prosecutor, Steve Karimi understands both sides of Washington criminal law. Mr. Karimi will help you build a strong defense that helps you get the results you want. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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