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Operation Blade Runner Targets Downtown Drug Dealers


Responding to community concerns about open-air drug dealing in downtown Seattle—especially in the Pike-Pine corridor, sometimes referred to as “the Blade” by dealers—on June 1st and 2nd Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers and King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies conducted a joint drug enforcement round up that targeted street-level drug dealers.

From April 11th to April 19th, 2012, SPD and KCSO officers and detectives conducted “buy & slide” drug stings, where an undercover officer buys drugs from a street dealer and “slides” away, building a case on the dealer who is subsequently arrested on a later date.  The drug dealers targeted in this round up were all subjects of on-going narcotics investigations based on the April “buy & slide” operations and were arrested based on probable cause built up during those operations.

In the course of the two day round up SPD and KCSO officers arrested 29 of 42 targeted suspects.  Seventeen of the arrested suspects are Seattle Police-only narcotics cases, six are KCSO-only cases, and six are joint SPD-KCSO cases.

There were nine additional suspects arrested who officers came into contact with during the course of their activities for a total of 38 suspects arrested during the operation.

“The successful round up and arrest of known drug dealers will help support a safer downtown environment for Seattle residents and visitors. I commend our police department on the success of this operation and thank the Sheriff’s Office for their support.” said Mayor Mike McGinn.

“I enthusiastically and whole-heartedly support SPD’s efforts to combat drug dealing in the downtown core and their initiatives helping to make our streets safer for everyone,” said Kate Joncas, President and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association.

SPD and KCSO officers will continue to be on the lookout for the 13 remaining suspects (of the original 42), who will be arrested when located.

King County Sheriff Steve Strachen said, “We are proud to partner with SPD to help send the message that open air drug dealing is not acceptable here.”

All of these cases remain active and on-going narcotics investigations.