March 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Feds allege man dealt drugs from private South Seattle ‘club’
The owner of a South Seattle nonprofit community resource “club” that hosted Alcoholics Anonymous meetings has been arrested on a federal complaint alleging he was dealing large quantities of oxycodone and other illegal pills.
Michael Martin Shepard, 64 — who goes by the nickname “Homeless” – is named in a 25-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court that alleges undercover officers and informants arranged at least five purchases of oxycodone at the Nomadian Community Resource Center, 4267 S. Orcas St.. He was arrested last night and is scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge later today in Seattle.
The complaint alleges that the center was being operated as a members-only “club” and that Shepard was using it as a hub for distributing oxycodone and other prescription drugs. At one point, according to the charges, Shepard allegedly received a quantity of pills from a man who had apparently had just obtained them from the pharmacy at Harborview Medical Center.
The club was used by Alcoholics Anonymous for meetings, and Shepard allegedly discussed drug deals while meetings were being held. One of the alleged drug transactions involved pills Shepard allegedly sold to a “cooperative source” to provide to an undercover police officer who posed as a pill-addict at an AA meeting.
The investigation began last November when a citizen told Seattle police that drugs were being sold at the resource center. Shepard would allegedly sell drugs only to individuals who became a “member” of the center in an effort to avoid police detection. Shepard boasted he had nearly 2,000 members since opening in 2012.
Police used a cooperative source with a history of drug arrests to infiltrate the center and make drug buys, as well as vouch for undercover narcotics officers involved in the investigation, according to the charges.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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