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Seattle police officer arrested for alleged role in drug-trafficking ring

SEATTLE – Federal prosecutors allege that a Seattle police officer was part of a major drug trafficking operation that transported large amounts of narcotics from Washington state to the East Coast.

Officer Alex Chapackdee was named in a federal complaint Monday alleging conspiracy to distribute marijuana, along with Tuan Van Le, Samath Khanhphongphane, and Phi Nguyen. According to the complaint obtained by Q13 News, Le is believed to be the leader of the operation and is the brother of Chapackdee’s wife.

According to federal investigators who were acting on information from a confidential informant, Le paid Chapackdee $10,000 a month to keep an eye on marijuana grow houses and provide information on police activity, plus $15,000 for occasional drug runs to Virginia and Maryland.

"While always disturbing to investigate one of our own, I am proud of the detectives and commanders who worked diligently on this case," Seattle police chief Kathleen O'Toole said in a statement. "Officer Chapackdee's conduct is disgraceful and disappointing."

On several occasions since as early as July 2015, Chapackdee is accused of driving to the East Coast in a motorhome to deliver drugs, or flying across the country to bring cash back to Seattle.

Chapackdee was placed on administrative leave without pay after he was arrested Saturday. He is expected to make an initial court appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle Monday afternoon.

Assigned to the department’s South Precinct, Officer Chapackdee was part of a community policing team, tasked with building relationships with community members and addressing “long-term and chronic problems in specific neighborhoods,” according to the department’s website.

The investigation into Chapackdee and his alleged associates was conducted by the Seattle Police Department, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.