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Seattle police officer sentenced for role in drug-trafficking ring

SEATTLE – A former Seattle police officer who admitted he played a role in a drug-trafficking ring  was sentenced on Thursday to six years in prison.

Alex Chapackdee, who spent 16 years with Seattle PD, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

U.S. District judge Thomas S. Zilly said Chapackdee brought “shame on his badge, his department and on this community … and deserves to be punished accordingly.”

Tuan Van Le, the alleged ringleader and Chapackdee’s brother-in-law, also pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

“These defendants – including a sworn law enforcement officer – flouted all applicable law when they shipped hundreds of pounds of marijuana to the East Coast in order to make the biggest possible buck,” U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a statement.

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.

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

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.