In August, based on an SPD "Blotter" blog post about a man who'd "secreted" crack cocaine in the back of a police car, I wrote a small post about the alleged crime and the dual meaning of the word secreted. I was pretty pleased with myself. Later, SPD Public Information Officer Sean Whitcomb gave me a bit of good-natured crap about making fun of the wording choice, and also pointed out that my post included a typo. So goes the exciting life of a blogger.
Yesterday, while wading online through the docket at the federal courthouse in Seattle, I came across a case that was awfully familiar.
Though charging documents filed against accused crack dealer Devin Jennings make no mention of the word secreted, the rest of the allegations included by investigators match - and provide further insight into what prosecutors and Seattle Police say led to Jennings' fateful ride in the back of an SPD squad car.
As charging documents detail, Jennings, who faces federal charges of possession of cocaine base in the form of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, was arrested early on the morning of Aug. 16, after officers conducting what's known as a "see-pop" operation in the area of the 1500 block of Second Avenue reported witnessing him make two separate drug deals. A "see-pop" operation is one in which officers position themselves in an area where they can "see" drugs being sold, and then arrest, or "pop," those they witness engaging in such nefarious activities. On the night in question, charging documents indicate officers were located at an elevated position on the east side of Second Avenue.
At approximately 12:19 a.m. on Aug. 16 officers say they saw a male dressed in all black approach Jennings and exchange "paper currency" for what appeared to be drugs - with the purchaser placing two small packets taken from Jennings' palm into his mouth at the conclusion of the transaction. In charging documents, authorities note that this is a common tactic amongst drug dealers and buyers, as it makes the evidence easy to swallow should they be confront by police.
After making the purchase, authorities say the purchaser disappeared into a nearby alcove that police say is known on the street to be good for crack smoking. Jennings allegedly stuck the money in the right pocket of his shorts.
Only one minute later police say they witnessed two known drug users approach Jennings with money in hand, prompting Jennings to retrieve a "clear plastic bag containing many white rocks" from the waistband of his shorts. Police immediately believed the white rocks in question to be crack, and authorities note in charging documents that Jennings made no attempt to conceal the deal - meaning officers had a clear view of the alleged transaction.
After witnessing these two suspected drug deals police moved in, sending word to the ground that probable cause existed to arrest Jennings. Before leaving their elevated post, police say they saw Jennings place the bag of white rocks back into the waistband of his shorts.
During his arrest, authorities say Jennings tensed up and started screaming and yelling when police attempted to search the waistband of his shorts - where they'd seen him stick the drugs. Police subsequently told Jennings he'd be strip searched once he arrived at the precinct, and warned him that the back of the patrol car had just been searched and was clean of drugs, so any contraband that mysteriously showed up after his ride would be connected to him.
If you've been following this story, you know this is when the alleged secreting took place.
From charging documents:
While transporting JENNINGS to the precinct, JENNINGS began kicking the rear passenger door of the patrol car. JENNINGS kicked the door repeatedly and with such force that the rear door was pushed out about an inch from its frame. While JENNINGS was doing this, the transporting officer, Officer Loyd, could hear sounds consistent with JENNINGS discarding the crack cocaine in his possession onto the rear seat and floorboard of his patrol vehicle. Once at the precinct, Officer Loyd, as well as other officers who had responded to assist Officer Loyd, saw a clear plastic bag containing several rocks of crack cocaine on the rear passenger seat, as well as many additional rocks of crack cocaine on the floor of the patrol car and on the ground outside the rear passenger door. All the suspected crack cocaine was collected for evidence. The total weight of the suspected crack cocaine was 23.9 grams. It field tested positive.
Sounds like he secreted all over the place.
Authorities say the damage Jennings inflicted on the patrol car is estimated to tally over $2,000. Cops also say Jennings made several angry and threatening statements to police as he was being led to a holding cell, including telling police "I will kill you, on my life," and "All the Bloods at 3P will know." As authorities note in charging documents, "3P" is slang for Third Avenue and Pine Street.
Yesterday in federal court prosecutors requested an extension in the case against Jennings, based on the fact Jennings' legal counsel needs time to review discovery, and also to allow more time for negotiation of a possible plea deal. The extension will give authorities until Nov. 8 to file the indictment.
Court documents indicate Jennings was on parole - stemming from a gun possession conviction - at the time he was caught allegedly selling crack.