Get Off the Pot

What do police do when a medical marijuana advocate gets shot in the face during an attempted robbery? Investigate the shit out of that pot growin’ hippie, that’s what!


King County sheriff’s detectives began investigating allegations of drug dealing by medical-marijuana advocate Steve Sarich months before last week’s break-in and shootout at his Kirkland-area home.

Two parallel investigations are under way, said Sgt. John Urquhart, spokesman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.

One investigation is looking at the March 15 attempted robbery of pot and cash at the house Sarich shares with his girlfriend, Chelsea Fennell. Five suspects, including a 19-year-old who was critically injured when Sarich exchanged gunfire with a 17-year-old suspect armed with a shotgun, already have been arrested and charged in connection with the early morning break-in.

The other investigation, which began in November, is examining whether Sarich, 59, and Fennell, 20, are manufacturing and distributing marijuana illegally, according to two search-warrant affidavits filed in King County District Court in Shoreline.