Felon convicted of selling fentanyl in downtown Seattle

A 31-year-old man was convicted Thursday for selling fentanyl pills in downtown Seattle.

The Seattle U.S. District Court convicted Kendall Alston of possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm, and Alston also plead guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one of them in connection to a Jan. 2022 shoplifting arrest in Bellevue.

According to court documents, Alston was identified by a Seattle Police emphasis patrol on Third Avenue between Pike and Pine, dealing fentanyl pills while armed.

"Mr. Alston was armed with a loaded handgun while dealing potentially deadly fentanyl pills in downtown Seattle," said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. "We continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to address 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 federal resources to hold offenders accountable."

The police officers were patrolling the area and other hotspots as part of "Operation New Day."

Officers witnessed Alston make at least two drug deals before taking him into custody. Alston had 244 fentanyl pills and a loaded Hi-Point .45 handgun on him when he was arrested. He is prohibited from carrying a gun due to two previous felony convictions, including a 2018 residential burglary in Pierce County and a 2013 burglary in King County.

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Alston is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 9, 2022. The U.S. Attorney's Office says the felony charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, plus five years for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.