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Police Arrest 42 in Effort to Disrupt 3rd & Pine Open Air Drug Market

Seattle Police officers and detectives are keeping up the pressure on street level heroin and methamphetamine dealers. Working in response to numerous community concerns and complaints about open-air drug transactions in the downtown core, narcotics detectives and West Precinct Anti-Crime Team officers built cases during the course of the last month against more than 60 drug dealers who are operating in an open-air drug market near 3rd and Pine. Police have previously conducted investigation into stolen property trafficking and drug dealing in the same area, which, due to its central location in the city and high-level of foot traffic, has made it an appealing location for criminals.

All of last month’s narcotics cases focused on dealers selling hard core drugs, such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. During the course of the investigation, detectives worked with the King County Prosecutor’s Office to review the criminal cases on the numerous suspects.

Beginning July 1, detectives and officers began searching for and arresting the previously identified suspects. By the end of the operation, 42 people were in custody.

“The area around Third and Pine is too often used by drug dealers as an outdoor marketplace for illegal activity,” said DSA President and CEO Jon Scholes. “We’ve heard ongoing concerns from our members over the past several months and have communicated with Seattle Police about those concerns. A big move was needed to break up this persistent problem, and we appreciate SPD’s response and actions to disrupt this illegal market. Downtown should feel inviting and welcoming to all.”

Of the 42 dealers arrested, 16 were in possession of narcotics and new cases established.  Of the 16 new cases, police seized approximately one ounce of heroin, one half ounce of meth, and $10,000.00 in US currency. According to prosecutors, some of the cases would be referred to King County Drug Court while others would be filed in traditional court.

Narcotics detectives continue to work with patrol officers, bike officers, and Anti-Crime Teams to focus on heroin and other drug dealing in the city’s five precincts.

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