Prosecutor's office dismisses felony pot charge after alt weekly investigates

SEATTLE -- The King County Prosecutor's Office dropped felony charges against a man accused of selling $5 worth of pot to undercover police shortly after a news reporter investigated the incident Monday.

According to the Stranger, prosecutor's office spokesman Dan Donohoe sent an email to reporter Dominic Holden announcing they would drop felony distribution charges against a man arrested for selling $5 worth of pot to police.

The email came shortly after Holden called the King County Sheriff's Department to investigate the charges stemming from a July incident involving a 51-year-old man.

According to the Stranger, the man boarded a King County Metro bus in Tukwila and sat next to two undercover King County Sheriff's deputies. The man sparked a friendly, "casual conversation" with two undercover cops, the Stranger reported, and one of the officers brought up marijuana. The man allegedly asked how much pot the two undercover police were interested in buying. The police officers reportedly said they were willing to buy $20 worth of pot.

The man said he only had a joint and couldn't sell them any pot, but he "offered to share it" with the two undercover officers, the Stranger reported.

The officers declined to smoke with the man but asked to buy the marijuana cigarette from him. The man agreed to sell the joint for $5, and the undercover officers arrested the man.

The man, who has a history of minor thefts, allegedly told the officers he didn't sell drugs and was only going to use the money to get to Tacoma, the Stranger reported.

Holden called King County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Cindi West recently to discuss the arrest. According to the Stranger, during the middle of the conversation the phone line went dead. Holden then received an email notice from the prosecutor's office saying the charge would be dismissed, and that the charge of felony was inconsistent with Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana.

"Thank you for bringing this to our attention," Donohoe told the Stranger. "We had a short discussion here and decided that the charge would be dismissed and that will likely happen this afternoon."