A police search warrant affidavit released Monday says detectives began investigating the La Hacienda motel in October with the help of several informants, who were living at the motel.
One informant approached police in early October after the motel owner allegedly offered to sell the informant a gun; the owner also allegedly showed off about 10 handguns—.380 and 9mm pistols, according to police records—kept in a laundry room at the motel.
The informant—who was working with SPD in order to avoid prosecution for a drug arrest—also told detectives the owner is getting "kickbacks" from motel tenants who are selling drugs, and that he allows prostitutes to work out of rooms at the motel.
Police records say police sent an informant wearing audio and video surveillance gear into the motel to purchase a gun from the owner on two occasions, and a bag of methamphetamines on a third.
During one of the gun deals, the motel owner allegedly told the informant if he was caught with the gun, "I don't know you." Police found that the gun was reported stolen in May, SPD records say. The owner also told the informant he wanted to get rid of all his guns so he could "get legal," police say.
Following the stings, police raided the owner's home on November 10th and seized gun parts, two suspected meth pipes, cash, and scales, and booked the man into jail.
Prosecutors have not yet charged the man in the case, but this isn't the first time police have looked into alleged crimes at the motel. Earlier this year, police investigated whether staff at the motel were charging drug users and johns a $5 cover charge for each visit they made to dealers and pimps staying at the motel.
Police records also say the King County Sheriff's office has previously investigated the owner, and found that "a number of their drug cases led to La Hacienda motel."
The owner of the motel has not yet responded to a request for comment.