Seattle cop sentenced for his role in weed smuggling conspiracy

Ex Seattle cop and his co-conspirators shipped massive loads of marijuana to Baltimore via RV and conspired to launder proceeds in legal marijuana venture.

Ex Seattle cop and his co-conspirators shipped massive loads of marijuana to Baltimore via RV and conspired to launder proceeds in legal marijuana venture.

Former police officer Alex Chapackdee, 44, of Seattle, was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison, and his co-conspirator in an interstate marijuana distribution scheme was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, in U.S. District Court in Seattle

Alex Chapackdee pleaded guilty in November 2017 to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Ringleader Tuan Van Le, of Maple Valley, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

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An investigation by the FBI, the DEA, the Homeland Security Investigations and Seattle Police Department revealed that on multiple occasions from January of 2015, till April 2017, Van Le and others made repeated trips between Seattle and Baltimore. While Van Le often flew one way or roundtrip, other members of the conspiracy made the trip by driving virtually non-stop.

The vehicles carried hundreds of pounds of weed to the Baltimore and the cash proceeds back to Seattle. Ex Seattle cop Chapackdee participated in multiple trips, driving his RV one or both ways between September of 2016 and April 2017.

Chapackdee who was a police officer throughout the conspiracy admits that while he was furthering the conspiracy, he was armed and carried his Seattle Police Department badge.



Chapackdee, Van Le, and the other conspirators linked up at both ends of the trip, distributing the weed on the East Coast and then returning with the cash proceeds to Western Washington. Bank records indicate Seattle cop Chapackdee repeatedly deposited his share of the cash in his personal bank account, in amounts just under $10,000, thereby avoiding reports to law enforcement. Chapackdee used his status as a Seattle police officer to cover and protect the conspiracy.

The bulk of the proceeds were laundered into a marijuana growing processing business, Tetra Holding Company that was ostensibly “legal” under State of Washington law and in the process of applying for a license from the State of Washington. On paper, the business was operated by two of the co-defendants, Le’s nephew, Hoang Le and his girlfriend, Meifang Yu, 45. In reality, Tuan Van Le was the primary investor and was in control of the business. However, as a convicted felon, Tuan Van Leis prohibited under State of Washington law from being an owner in any permitted marijuana business. Tuan Van Le nonetheless provided his nephew, often through his girlfriend, with huge amounts of cash to get Tetra Holding Company up and running close to $1 million.

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Meifang Yu was sentenced to 3 years of probation, including 180 days of home confinement and 150 hours of community service for the role in the marijuana conspiracy.

In addition to the prison terms, both Le and Chapackdee will be under federal supervision following prison of 5 years and 4 years, respectively. They were in custody since arrested on May 8, 2017.

Co-conspirator Samath Khanhphongphane was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison on February 8, 2018. Defendants Phi Nguyen and Hoang Le will be sentenced on April 12, 2018.