A 16-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department was arrested in connection with a smuggling operation that shipped hundreds of pounds of marijuana from the Seattle area to Baltimore.
Alex Chapackdee, 44, is one of four men charged in the federal complaint. The officer’s brother-in-law is the ringleader of the operation, according to the complaint.
“The trafficking of hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Washington to the streets of Baltimore will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Drug trafficking organizations that ignore federal and state laws have always been and will continue to be targeted and held to account. The fact that a police officer was involved in this is obviously of particular concern.”
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Conspiracy to distribute marijuana in these quantities is punishable by a mandatory minimum five years in prison and up to 40 years in prison.
“While it is always disturbing to investigate one of our own, I am proud of the detectives and commanders who worked diligently on this case,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said. “Officer Chapackdee’s conduct is disgraceful and disappointing. While he will have his due process in the courts, I hope these charges demonstrate to our community that SPD will not tolerate corrupt behavior in our ranks.”
An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Seattle Police Department, Homeland Security and the FBI’s Public Corruption Squad revealed that Tuan Van Le, the brother-in-law of Officer Chapackdee made multiple trips between Seattle and Baltimore between June 2013, and April 2017. Chapackdee allegedly drove his RV in multiple trips in the fall of 2016. Bank records indicate that Chapackdee deposited cash in his account in amounts just under $10,000 thereby avoiding reports to law enforcement.
Chapackdee is on unpaid leave from the Seattle Police Department. A magistrate judge on Monday ordered him held in custody pending a hearing on Friday.
Tuan Van Le had a previous drug arrest in 2002 and served 21 months in federal prison.
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