The store was not licensed to sell cannabis
OLYMPIA – During an undercover investigation, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) officers purchased illegal cannabis from a clerk at “Todd’s Trading Post and Compassion Club” (also called “Micael Sow Compassion Club”), an unlicensed cannabis retailer and cannabis club located at 9819 16th Ave SW in White Center. Under state law, cannabis may only be sold from a licensed cannabis retail store, and cannabis clubs are illegal.
Between May and July, an undercover WSLCB officer gained access to the club and made four buys of cannabis. WSLCB officers subsequently obtained a search warrant for Todd’s Trading Post and Compassion Club. In partnership with the King County Sheriff’s Office, WSLCB enforcement officers executed the search warrant Thursday, Aug. 1. The officers located and seized over 26 pounds of cannabis flower, cannabis concentrates, and cannabis-infused edible products. The retail value of the product was estimated at over $150,000.
The owner, Micael Kidane Tsegai, and a clerk, Ishmail Michael Kidane, were arrested by WSLCB officers and booked into the King County jail for the cannabis crimes and firearms violations. The owner of the store has previous felony convictions, and both subjects had outstanding arrest warrants. The cannabis, sales and security equipment, two handguns, and cash were seized as evidence. A loaded handgun was located in a backroom safe with the cannabis and cash. Officers also recovered a stolen handgun that was located in a freezer next to the cash register.
Officers will be recommending felony charges for Unlawful Possession and Distribution of a Controlled Substance (RCW 69.50.401), Conducting and Maintaining a Cannabis Club (RCW 69.50.465), Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (RCW 9.41.040), and Possession of a Stolen Firearm (RCW 9A.56.310).
The investigation was prompted by complaints from the community alleging that the unlicensed store was competing against nearby licensed cannabis retailers, maintaining a cannabis club, and attracting criminal activity to the area.