Police Say Georgetown Motel Staff Involved In Drug Trafficking

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee June 23, 2011

Seattle police say staff at a Georgetown motel are charging drug users and johns a $5 fee for each visit they make to a dealer and pimp staying at the motel.

According to police documents released this week, SPD has "received numerous community and patrol officer complaints about the drug activity and prostitution at La Hacienda Motel" on 1st Ave S and S Lucille St.

A search warrant affidavit filed on June 16th says a confidential informant paid as part of the operation told detectives they had previously stayed at La Hacienda, and believed a man was dealing drugs and pimping prostitutes out of a second-floor room at the motel. The informant also told police the a manager at the motel was "involved in the drug trafficking" and "was using drugs as partaking in the 'services' offered by the prostitutes."

Police put the motel under surveillance—it's not clear exactly how long they spent investigating the motel—and observed "lots of short-term visits" to the second-floor room, as well as "hand to hand exchanges between visitors and the staff at La Hacienda...consistent with the claims that management is involved with the drug trafficking," the affidavit says.

Records indicate SPD's informant visited the motel on at least three different occasions to buy drugs. Each time, the informant paid hotel staff a $5 "visitor fee" before heading to the second floor room.

Police records indicate detectives could not find enough evidence against the manager to arrest or charge him during their investigation, but police did observe him repeatedly visiting the second-floor room and talking with the suspected pimp and drug dealer.

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