Dealers, Beware of Bell Bottoms

Andrew Binion writes:

To impress upon Seattle drug dealers that sailors in town for Seafair won’t be good customers, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has joined to fray targeting street-level peddlers.

The NCIS presence on the corners and back alleys of Bell Town, Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market, working with Seattle police, garnered a passing mention in a Seattle P-I story that first ran Wednesday on the paper’s Website. The story, available here, is about a alleged crack dealer who keeps finding himself in the funny papers, for one reason or another.

It’s a common practice for NCIS agents to get involved in local drug stings, said Andrew Snowden, supervisory special agent for NCIS in Bremerton. In anticipation of major port calls, as in Seafair or the Portland Rose Festival, or even port calls overseas, the navy’s criminal investigators move in first, contact local police, and make it known to local illicit pharmaceutical entrepreneurs that good clientele sailors do not make.

“Word travels kind of quickly,” Snowden said.

Also, NCIS has a presence with local drug enforcement here in Kitsap County, with its 11,300 active-duty members, posting agents with the county’s drug task force, WestNET, and Bremerton police’s drug and vice-oriented Special Operations Group.

“We do drug work year-round,” he said.

Because NCIS agents are scouting out the drug scene before the ships actually arrive, the stings generally do not net actual navy members.

“Infrequent, if at all,” Snowden said.

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