Community Post

Operation "Safe Union" picks up where DMI left off, brings 17 people up on drug charges

It’s been just over a year since the Drug Market Initiative made a marked reduction in drug traffic around 23rd & Union, and now in a CDNews exclusive, we’ve learned that Seattle Police have just completed a major follow-up operation that has brought drug charges against seventeen new suspects.

We had previously reported that after six months of rave reviews about DMI from neighbors in the area, the drug activity started coming back earlier this year. At the time SPD leadership acknowledged the problem but would only give cryptic references that work was underway to correct it.

Now we know that police were referring to “Operation Safe Union” which began in April and involved patrol officers and narcotics detectives to investigate the ongoing drug activity in the 23rd & Union corridor. Cases were developed through coordinated buy-bust operations and other tools, leading to the new charges against a group of seventeen suspects.

SPD has provided a sample of backgrounds of some of the suspects who were picked up:

  • Two are convicted murderers
  • Two are convicted rapists
  • Three have robbery convictions
  • Two have previously assaulted officers
  • Seven are on probation with the state Department of Corrections for felony offenses
  • One was already under federal indictment
  • One had his young daughter in tow during two suspected drug deals

We’re working to get additional details on those who have been charged and see where they are in the legal system. Stay tuned for more…

8 thoughts on “Operation "Safe Union" picks up where DMI left off, brings 17 people up on drug charges

  1. if this is going to be the same as the DMI, where there are basically warned, if we catch you again, we are going to bring every charge we can against you, at the same time as they are offered some social services to help them try to find another way.

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

  2. Successful participants of DMI were never charged, but the threat of future charges is what was held over them to keep them on the straight and narrow.

    So this would appear to be different, as everyone caught has been brought up on drug charges

  3. As a resident right around 23rd & Union let me say that while the activity was picking up near the start of the summer it slowed down significantly and definitely showed marked improvement this summer as opposed to last summer, and now I know why! It’s really frightening to know that there were convicted rapists and murderers selling drugs on the corner near my house…and I’m oh so relieved that they have been arrested and charged. But how much longer until they’re back on the streets again? I don’t think I want to find out.

  4. As a property owner at 23rd and Union I am happy to read about stepped up police enforcement in this area. It doesn’t take long to suspect who the “bad guys” might be and it is reassuring that the SPD are doing their best to keep the streets safe for the rest of us. I look forward to follow up stories on this. Scott thanks for the great job reporting.

  5. i will look forward to reading about who is where in the legal system so that i can follow this process….

    however, you made reference to the DMI Program, and i am wondering if you are able to get any feedback on the successful participants????

    We definitely know about the unsuccessful participants :(

  6. Well, there are other things–organic vegetables, expensive strollers, NPR, grilling.

    But mostly, this is what we White People do for fun. You nailed it, dude.

  7. Pingback: How 23rd/Union could become Seattle’s ‘Little Amsterdam’ | Central District News