Crime/Vandalism

The South King County Fire Investigation Task Force is asking for the public’s help following a January 29th two alarm apartment fire in the 3000 block of S. 154 Street.

The fire was determined to have been intentionally set and could have ended much more tragically than it did. Fortunately, there were only three minor injuries and no deaths.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Arson Tip Line at
253-856-4460 and leave a message. All information is confidential and callers may be eligible for a reward if the information provided leads to an arrest and prosecution.

If someone needs to speak with an on-call investigator, they can call 9-1-1.

Here is our previous coverage:

Press release:

SeaTac Fire Investigators have released some additional information on an early morning apartment fire Tuesday in the 3000 block of S. 154 Street.

According to investigators, the second floor fire was intentionally set in multiple locations of the affected unit.

01/30/2013
Day, night security officers armed, campus officers not armed

Recommendations that could include disarming Highline Public Schools security officers are on hold until April.

Superintendent Susan Enfield said Jan. 9 that recommendations would be made within a week and a half. But after meeting with local police chiefs and a King County Sheriff’s captain, Enfield decided to hire former Des Moines Police Chief Roger Baker as a consultant to review a whole series of issues around school security.

Enfield said at the Jan. 23 board meeting that after the police chiefs’ meeting, she felt it would be irresponsible not to do a much more thorough review. She estimated new proposals could come by April 1.

A district steering committee studied Highline’s security plan and presented a report at a Dec. 12 board work session.

The session occurred two days before the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school. After the shootings, the possibility that Highline security officers was highlighted in several media reports Board members heard several pleas at their next board meeting not to disarm the officers.

01/27/2013

Daytime, forced-entry house burglaries suddenly spiked in December around the region, SeaTac Police Chief James Graddon reported to City Council members on Jan. 22.

Graddon is King County Sheriff's Office commander for Precinct 4, which includes SeaTac, Burien and North Highline. SeaTac and Burien contract with the county for police services.

Burglary rates have come down a little bit in January, he noted.

Graddon said the burglars are using items found outside residences to smash windows or pry open doors to get inside.

Once inside, burglars snatch small items such as laptop computers or jewelry, according to Graddon. Since the stolen items are so portable, the thieves can get away on foot without needing a vehicle.

Graddon suspects many of the burglars are transients.

He advised victims to check places like Craig’s List to see if their stolen items turn up for sale.

Councilmember Pam Fernald said she had been told burglars often come back to a residence after the stolen items have been replaced. Graddon said that some times happens but is not a common occurrence.

01/24/2013

The Tukwila Police Department issued a statement Jan. 17 saying that all charges that officers used excessive force in the May 12 arrest of brothers Jahmez Amilli and Charles Chappelle are unfounded.

Here is the police department’s statement:

Description of Incident
The 12 May 2012 arrest of brothers Jahmez Amili and Charles Chappelle by Tukwila Police officers was a recent subject of news coverage. Selected portions of police in-car videos were aired on television news.

The brothers claimed officers used excessive force, sprayed water into their forced opened eyes, failed to provide medical aid and drove them around for five hours unnecessarily.

The police department was asked to comment; but at the time of the news stories, we felt it necessary to fully investigate before doing so. Providing information, which may be incomplete or inaccurate does not serve the interest of the public, or foster public trust.

01/17/2013
Defendant with 1991 Texas conviction possessed more than 30,000 images of child pornography

Press release:

A Des Moines man was sentenced this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison for possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

Gregory Sean O’Neall, 51, a convicted sex offender originally from Houston, Texas, was arrested in June 2012. He pleaded guilty in September 2012. Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman also sentenced O’Neall to lifetime supervised release including sex offender treatment and the use of special software to monitor his computer.

According to records in the case, O’Neall came to the attention of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force because of his postings on an online file sharing site.

A Homeland Security Investigation agent working undercover on the site observed sexually explicit images of children being distributed from the internet protocol address at O’Neall’s residence. The agent engaged O’Neall in an online chat.

O’Neall discussed various photographs. Further investigation revealed that O’Neall had posted other pictures in albums on a web site.

01/17/2013

Highline Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield and staff met Jan. 10 with the top law enforcement officials of the five municipalities in Highline to discuss possible changes to the district’s security plan.

At the meeting, Burien Chief Scott Kimerer, Des Moines Chief George Delgado, Normandy Park Chief Chris Gaddis, SeaTac Chief James Graddon and King County Sheriff’s Captain Patrick Butschli all agreed to assist Highline with recommendations.

However, Jason Powell, business agent for Teamsters Local 763, which represents about 1,000 district employees including security officers, dismisses the meeting as another ploy to disarm security officers.
Powell claims Enfield wants the police chiefs to agree to add more armed school resource officers (SROs), commissioned police officers assigned to schools, in exchange for disarming the district’s security officers. The district would pay part of the cost to the police agencies for the SROs.

Powell also said, if the security officers don’t need firearms certification, district officials could argue their wages should be lowered. The district’s collective bargaining agreement with the security officers ends Aug. 31.

01/12/2013

The timing couldn’t have been worse.

Two days before a gunman killed 20 students and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, the Highline School Board held a work/study session to review a new security plan that could include disarming school security officers.

At the study session and the following regular meeting, security officers say a few board members gave the impression that they discounted the danger that security officers face in Highline schools. Board president Angelica Alvarez implied there is a connection between armed security guards and the number of student suspensions and expulsions.

The officers’ union, Teamsters Local 763, has filed an unfair labor practice claim against the district stemming from a subsequent meeting with assistant superintendent Susan Smith Leland. The union said she threatened security officers over their testimony before the school board.

District spokesperson Catherine Carbone Rogers said Leland’s intent was to request respectful behavior. Rogers noted the district doesn’t challenge the right of employees to present their opinions to the school board.

01/11/2013
Security officers, teachers react to possibility Highline security officers will be disarmed
Photo credit: 
Photo by Jerry Gay

Highline security officer Bret Draven listens to comments at the Jan. 9 Highline School Board meeting. On his hip, are his handgun, radio and pepper spray.

Convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering and wire fraud

Press release:

A Burien woman was sentenced Thursday, Dec. 6 in U.S. District Court in Seattle, to five years in prison and five years of supervised release for four felony counts connected to the laundering of illegal proceeds from the drug distribution conspiracy she participated in with her husband, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

SVETLANA ANGEL YIM, 30, was convicted in April 2012, following a five-week jury trial. The jury found her responsible for being part of a conspiracy that trafficked cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as laundered millions of dollars in drug proceeds.

YIM’s husband, Drew Yim, 38, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in May 2012 for leading the drug conspiracy that distributed a variety of illegal drugs from Mexico to Canada and east across the United States. SVETLANA YIM handled money laundering in the conspiracy, purchasing property and cars in the names of other people, as well as expensive jewelry and other luxuries. Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman imposed the sentence.

12/06/2012

Press release:

As part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, extra officers will be canvassing roadways between November 21 and January 1, 2013 throughout King County searching for impaired drivers.



Burien, Des Moines, Port of Seattle, SeaTac and Tukwila police departments and the Washington State Patrol will participate in Washington State’s first-ever Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.



The King County Target Zero Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort.

 For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit www.wtsc.wa.gov.

Lynn Ross spent more than $1,200 paying for the ignition interlock that he had to have installed on his Dodge truck as a result of a DUI conviction.



The device is about the size of a cell phone with a tube for breath samples. Like many in King County, Mr. Ross, a Spokane Valley resident, had to blow into it every time he started his truck every day for 14 months.

11/14/2012

Press release from King County Sheriff’s Office:
A 43 year old Oklahoma man, who police learned was a pilot and was supposed to fly a commercial plane from Sea-Tac Airport to Japan on Monday morning, was arrested in SeaTac last night after stealing another man’s car.

SeaTac police officers responded to the Hilton Hotel in the 17600 block of International Blvd last night around 8:40 p.m.. The victim, a 66-year-old Bainbridge man, told police he had gotten into his rental car at the Hilton Hotel when the suspect got into his back seat.

The victim