Last week, an investigation into a Tacoma medical marijuana dispensary (which is still illegal in this state) led to three raids by the West End Narcotics Enforcement Team – also known as WestNET. Two of the raids were in Tacoma, while a third was in Olalla, just west of Vashon Island. The Seattle Weekly reports on the Olalla raid:
Christine Casey, patient coordinator of North End Club 420, tells the Weekly that the detectives from the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team (WestNet) who came to her house in Olalla (west of Vashon Island) handcuffed her 14-year-old son for two hours and put a gun to his head. They also told the kid to say good-bye to his dad, Guy Casey, because the dispensary owner was going to prison.
And as the detectives looked for cash to prove that the dispensary was illegally profiting from pot sales, Casey says, they confiscated $80 that her 9-year-old daughter had received from her family for a straight-A report card. Where did they find it?
In the girl’s Mickey Mouse wallet, according to Casey. She also claims that the cops dumped out all her silverware, busted a hole in the wall, and broke appliances. She alleges too that the cops finger-wrote “I sell pot” in the dust covering the family’s Hummer, which the cops then seized. (WestNet did not return repeated calls seeking comment.)
It’s worth keeping in mind that WestNET is the same agency that allegedly tried to poison Bruce and Pamela Olson’s dogs before raiding their home in 2007. The dogs required $2,000 in vet bills. Bruce Olson, also of Olalla, was eventually acquitted of all charges against him after the police informant who claimed to have bought marijuana from Olson was deemed by the jury to have zero credibility.
Once again, WestNET is claiming that a “police operative” repeatedly bought marijuana from the Caseys without showing a medical marijuana authorization. The Caseys deny it. If the Caseys are telling the truth, it’s just another reason to put pressure on our state’s Congressional delegation to eliminate WestNET’s federal funding.
Sensible Washington has learned that one dozen signed copies of I-1068, the marijuana legalization initiative for Washington State of which Sensible Washington is the sponsor, were seized last week by the federally-funded WestNet drug task force. Our estimate is that 200 signatures are sitting in WestNet’s offices in Port Orchard, apparently seized as evidence during a series of raids against the North End Club 420 in Tacoma. The club is operating as a medical marijuana dispensary.
We have made repeated calls to WestNet’s office, but have yet to receive any assurance that the task force’s personnel have secured the signed petitions and that they plan to promptly return them to Sensible Washington.
I’m trying to determine if WestNET would be violating any specific laws by refusing to turn over signed petitions. I’ll update this post if I get an answer.
UPDATE: Josh Farley is reporting that WestNET will return the petitions.
UPDATE 2: The Port Orchard Independent still has its head in the sand.