Police busted Alejandro Castillo after he was observed selling marijuana to children and sold pot brownies to undercover cops.
Man who sold marijuana to Ballard students goes to court today
Last April, police busted a man who sold marijuana to Ballard High School and Whitman Middle School students repeatedly.
Now that man, Alejandro Antonio Castillo, 51, will be in U.S. District Court in Seattle today at 2 p.m. He will be facing charges for conspiracy to distribute marijuana, two counts of distribution of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, which are punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“The Department of Justice priorities on marijuana are very clear – and one of the highest priorities is preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “The sale of marijuana to these teenagers not only impacts their ability to learn, it disrupts the educational experience for other students. This conduct is the reason we have stronger penalties for those who distribute drugs within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and other places where children congregate.”
Castillo was busted after Seattle police detectives observed students going to the backdoor of his home, stay a few minutes and leave carrying what appeared to be marijuana. On April 5, 2013, detectives observed 18 teens between the age of 14 and 18 approach the house in a three hour period beginning just before noon.
On four different occasions undercover officers posing as juveniles purchased both marijuana and brownies laden with marijuana from CASTILLO or his associates. On April 24, 2013, Seattle Police served a search warrant at the home and seized approximately 1,200 grams of suspected marijuana which included approximately 99 marijuana cigarettes, nine trays of suspected marijuana brownies, four shotguns, one rifle, six handguns, and $4,755 in U.S. Currency.
Having the case brought to federal court, where the state-based I-502 has no influence, the case against Castillo is expected to go much smoother.
“There was a gap in the law from the time I-502 passed until the legislature fixed the legal definition of marijuana that would have made the case extremely problematic for state prosecutors. We appreciate federal prosecutors stepping in to handle this serious case of dealing marijuana to minors,” said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
Of course, even in the age of I-502, it's still illegal to sell marijuana to underage people. And it's still illegal for anyone under 21 to possess marijuana. (To clear up any confusion on this, the Seattle Police Department published the definitive guide on this subject, "Marijwhatnow?")
Follow Ballard News-Tribune on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ballardnewstrib
And Twitter at http://twitter.com/ballardnewstrib