Veteran Seattle Cop Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Hundreds of Pounds of Weed to Baltimore

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Officers from Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force weren’t the only police recently running drugs over Maryland borders.

The Seattle Times reports Alex Chapackdee, a 16-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of marijuana-distribution and money-laundering conspiracy. His plea ties to a multi-year case in which federal officers tracked Chapackdee, his brother-in-law and two other men from coast to coast while they smuggled hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Seattle to Baltimore.

Chapackdee was allegedly paid $10,000 a month to watch over his brother-in-law’s grow houses in Washington, and another $15,000 for each trip he made from the PNW to Baltimore. He’d often travel cross-country in his RV, and made the 2,800-mile trip at least three times from September through November of 2016, according to a Department of Justice release announcing his arrest.

Chapackdee admitted he carried his department-issued sidearm and badge with him while moonlighting.

While his brother-in-law has been identified as the ringleader, Chapackdee was a key target for federal agents, who placed a hidden camera outside his apartment in Seattle and tracked his trips to Baltimore by monitoring his cell phone calls and signal. They also had an eye on his bank account.

“Bank records indicate Chapackdee deposited cash in his account in amounts just under $10,000 thereby avoiding reports to law enforcement,” the Justice Department said in its May release.

Like the eight local cops indicted in Baltimore’s own multi-year drug conspiracy and racketeering ring this past spring, Chapackdee is no longer working as a police officer. The Times reports he was placed on administrative leave without pay initially, and subsequently resigned.

Both sides in the case have accepted a five-year minimum sentence as punishment, though the judge could still ignore the deal and sentence the ex-officer to up to 40 years in prison.

Only two weeks ago, a Philadelphia police officer was arrested at his home, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. Eric Troy Snell had previously served as a Baltimore police officer alongside Det. Jemell Rayam, who pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy in October.

The pair linked up last fall, with Rayam driving north to hand off stolen coke and heroin for Snell to sell at a steep profit. Rayam and his colleagues had taken the drugs from suspects here in Baltimore.

Ethan McLeod
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