Former Seattle Police Department Officer Alex Chapackdee pled guilty Monday to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and commit money laundering for his role in moving hundreds of pounds of cannabis across the country. Chapackdee, a 16-year veteran for the department, was arrested last April after authorities alleged that he transported 184 pounds of Washington weed to Baltimore stashed in his RV. He resigned from the SPD shortly after.
As The Stranger's Lester Black wrote in May, "According to court documents, Chapackdee used his position on the police force to help further his criminal enterprise. The officer was paid $10,000 a month by the ringleader, his brother-in-law Tuan Van Le, to provide security for Le's Seattle-area pot grows and monitor any possible police action that could damage Le's pot trade, according to the charges. The court complaint also describes Le as dealing in large amounts of cocaine to East Coast casinos, but no charges are filed in connection with any cocaine trade."
The former officer apparently made an additional $15,000 each time he drove his weed-filled RV across the country, a trip he reportedly made in just 48 hours each way, stopping only for gas and food. Investigators allege he made this trip at least four times between 2013 and 2017.
Under the terms of his plea deal, Chapackdee will be sentenced in March of next year, and is expected to receive the mandatory minimum five-year sentence. While cannabis possession is legal and regulated in Washington state, driving it across state or international borders definitely is not.
Just last year, more people were arrested for marijuana possession in the United States than for all violent crimes combined.