Vashon man faces up to five years in prison for alleged drug trafficking

Richard Grant is scheduled to appear in court next week, facing a drug charge related to an August arrest where he was found to possess nearly 10 grams of methamphetamine.

Grant pled not guilty to the charge, Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA), in October, and his next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13, when his trial date will likely be set.

In charging papers filed with the King County Superior Court in August, the prosecuting attorney paints Grant as a criminal who is well known to police and who recently admitted to selling drugs.

On Aug. 25, Grant was pulled over on the north end by Dep. Jeff Hancock, a regular Vashon deputy who recognized Grant and knew he was driving with a suspended license.

According to charging papers, Hancock, joined by another Vashon deputy, immediately arrested Grant, and upon searching his vehicle found 9.6 grams of methamphetamine in two separate bags. He also found an electronic scale with methamphetamine residue on it in Grant’s pocket. In the report, Hancock noted that Grant has threatened to shoot and kill police officers and now is listed in the Washington Crime Information Center as having an officer safety/warning hazard. Because of that listing, he immediately put Grant in handcuffs.

When questioned, Grant freely admitted to getting the drugs in Seattle and said he planned to sell them to pay back his dealer. In the report, Hancock said Grant laughed out loud while talking about the drugs.

“He went on to tell me that he sells methamphetamine to just get by,” Hancock said. “He said he sells enough to get food and cigarettes.”

At one point Hancock told Grant he would be booked into jail that night, but the deputy later decided to release him due to “staffing issues and the call volume on the mainland,” the charging papers say.

Sgt. Katie Larson, a spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office, said that when Vashon deputies send suspects to jail, they are required to take them on the ferry to Fauntleroy, where they transfer them to another deputy. Larson said it was likely there wasn’t a deputy available to pick up Grant at the ferry that evening. He was charged three days later.

Grant’s criminal record in the state, obtained by The Beachcomber, spans back to 1988 and includes 31 arrests, nine felony convictions and 24 other criminal convictions. His convictions so far this year include possession of a controlled substance with no prescription, criminal trespass and two separate convictions of third-degree theft.

The extensive record is reflected in Grant’s most recent charging papers, where Hancock says, “I have dealt with Grant on many occasions over the past two years. I have arrested him and questioned him extensively in regard to crimes on the island.”

The sentence for a VUCSA conviction ranges from 20 months to five years, depending on the defendant’s record.

Grant’s record, however, shows that he rarely serves his entire sentence. Grant’s most recent arrest was Nov. 16, when he was taken into custody at the Vashon courthouse on warrants for criminal trespass, third-degree theft and a probation violation. Records show that he was sentenced to seven days in jail for the theft conviction and served five of them, being released the day before Thanksgiving.

Bryan Grant, Richard’s brother, said he’s frustrated by how little jail time Richard seems to do and is skeptical that his latest charges will keep him in jail for long.

“To me, it’s beyond ridiculous. He gets pulled over. He’s driving with a license suspended and is caught with 10 grams of meth that he admits he’s planning on selling, and they don’t even take him downtown,” he said.


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