A Seattle man has been convicted of distributing fentanyl in downtown Seattle. He was also armed with a gun at the time. This case will be a first in the books. Kendall Alston, 31, is the first defendant to be tried federally as part of Seattle police’s crime-fighting focus in the Pike/Pine corridor.
An officer at a vantage point above the street saw a person wearing distinctive clothing engaging in what appeared to be a melee drug deal. The officer returned to street level and saw the person later identified as Alston making another drug sale. Officers intervened and took Alston into custody. Alston was carrying 244 blue pills which were later tested and found to contain fentanyl. In his backpack, Alston carried a loaded .45 caliber Hi-Point semi-automatic handgun.
In the US District Court in Seattle, three federal felonies related to the distribution of fentanyl pills in downtown Seattle were announced. Alston was arrested on March 23, 2022, after Seattle police officers noticed his melee drug dealing. Officers were monitoring the 3rd Avenue area between Pike and Pine streets as part of “Operation New Day”.
Alston was guilty of knowingly distributing fentanyl, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in connection with a felony drug trafficking. It was a 3 day trial. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours. U.S. District Judge Lauren J. King has sentenced November 9, 2022.
Following the guilty verdicts, Alston agreed to plead guilty to two additional counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Distributing a controlled substance, possessing a controlled substance, and unlawfully possessing a firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison. Possession of a firearm in pursuit of a drug trafficking felony carries a consecutive five-year prison sentence in addition to any sentence imposed on the other counts.