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Three Seattle-area motels seized in probe of drugs, prostitution

August 27, 2013|By Rick Rojas

SEATTLE -- Three motels in nearby Tukwila served as dens of prostitution and drug dealing where police often had to respond to calls of robbery, drug dealing, theft and rape, authorities say. 

On Tuesday, U.S. Atty. Jenny A. Durkan announced that federal agents had seized and boarded up the motels after a yearlong investigation involving hundreds of law enforcement officers. 

"Today, we seek to hold the hotel owners accountable for their crimes, strip them of their criminal dens and make this area of the community safer," Durkan said in a prepared statement.

Nearly one-fifth of the Tukwila Police Department's calls for service came from those motels, authorities said. Tukwila, a city of about 19,000 people, is about 10 miles south of Seattle. 

Tukwila police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives teamed up on the investigation, which relied on undercover officers and informants.

Owners and managers at the three motels -- the Great Bear Motor Inn, the Boulevard Motel and the Travelers Choice Motel -- allegedly collected a $10 entry fee from those who came looking for drugs or sex, then sent the person to a room to meet a drug dealer or prostitute. 

Four people were arrested, authorities said, including the three owner-operators of the motels. 


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