While the city of Seattle unveiled the successes its pilot program Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion” (LEAD) which is aimed at giving police the discretion to divert someone with a low-level drug crime to a case manager and network of social services instead of booking them to jail, the Seattle PD was busy making multiple ‘drug busts.'
Back in April, the SPD completed “Operation Crosstown Traffic” which was a 3 month undercover sting operation in the downtown Seattle area between Pike and Pine Avenue. According to the SPD's Major Crimes Task Force, detectives went undercover to buy heroin, meth, opiates and other hard drugs. They discovered that drug dealers were shoplifting from stores, then openly selling the stolen goods in the streets, and then using the cash to purchase heroin. The bust resulted in the arrest of arrested 98 out of 148 suspects. During Operation Crosstown Traffic, police approached 186 street dealers in the area and made 177 purchases of heroin, meth, marijuana, crack cocaine and other drugs, all caught on hidden cameras.
Prior to the completion of Operation Crosstown Traffic, the SPD also arrested 19 people as part of a 2 year investigation of a group of drug traffickers. That group was accused of distributing cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine around the greater Seattle area.
VUCSA under Washington Law
Drug crime and penalties in Washington are outlined in the state's Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (“VUCSA”), codified in RCW 69.50 - (Uniform Controlled Substances Act). RCW 69.50 contains some of the toughest drug laws in the country. Possession of a controlled substance listed under the VUCSA is a Class C Felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Additionally, WA state defines “delivery” of a controlled substance very loosely- as the act of “giving a controlled substance to another person.” There is no requirement that a monetary transaction even take place, so in many instances there is very little that distinguishes a drug dealer from a drug user.
It should be noted that more people were arrested for drug crimes than any other class of crimes in America than any other crime -- about one in every 207.
Defending Drug Charges
Common defenses include:
- The evidence was obtained illegally in violation of the 4th Amendment.
- You were entrapped.
- Probable cause to search a person, vehicle, or home was not established.
- The search warrant was invalid.
- The evidence was obtained by a police informant that lacks credibility
- There are also alternatives to jail, such as the LEAD diversion program.
Seattle Area VUCSA Attorney
Seattle criminal defense lawyer Steve Karimi is well versed in the laws governing drug and marijuana possession and usage. As a former prosecutor, he has the experience to be able to provide aggressive legal defenses for a variety of drug-related charges such as VUCSA crimes, juvenile drug charges, marijuana DUIs, and felony trafficking charges. Drug charges, including low-level ones, are nothing to joke about. They can lead to serious life consequences such as a criminal record, tarnished reputation, decreased employment opportunities, and academic opportunities. Mr. Karimi zealously represent juveniles, students, and adults in all aspects of VUCSA and marijuana-related charges. In many cases, he is able to get VUSCA cases dismissed in the Snohomish County Courts, as well as getting charges off your records.
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, contact our VUCSA defense attorney today or call 206-621-8777 to schedule a free initial consultation. We also have 24-hour call service available at 206-660-6200. Do not fight the legal system alone. Mr. Karimi will make sure your rights are defended.