Seattle – A 31-year-old Seattle man was found guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of three federal felonies related to his distribution of fentanyl pills in downtown Seattle, the U.S. Attorney announced. Nick Brown. Kendall Alston was arrested on March 23, 2022, after Seattle police officers noticed his melee drug dealing. Officers were monitoring the area from 3rd Avenue between Pike and Pine streets as part of “Operation New Day”. The accent patrol was intended to increase public safety in the Pike/Pine Corridor where drug sales had led the area to become a hotspot for other crimes including muggings and shootings.
“Mr. Alston was armed with a loaded handgun while selling potentially lethal fentanyl pills in downtown Seattle,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said. “We continue to work with our federal partners , state and local to combat the sense of lawlessness that has permeated our streets Not every case is appropriate for federal prosecution, but where guns and drugs intersect, we are prepared to use our resources federal authorities to hold offenders accountable.
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, an officer at a vantage point above the street saw a person wearing distinctive clothing engaging in what appeared to be a body-dealing drug sale. body. 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.
After a 3-day trial, the jury deliberated approximately three hours before convicting Alston of knowingly distributing fentanyl, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in pursuit of a felony crime. drug traffic. Following the guilty verdicts, Alston agreed to plead guilty to two additional counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges relate to his arrest in March in downtown Seattle with the gun and a previous arrest in January 2022 for shoplifting in Bellevue, where it was discovered he carried a different firearm.
Alston is prohibited from owning firearms due to two felony convictions, a 2018 residential burglary conviction in Pierce County and a 2013 residential burglary conviction in King County.
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.
U.S. District Judge Lauren J. King has sentenced November 9, 2022.
The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cecelia Gregson and Casey Conzatti.