Police: Tent "used to process & sell large amounts of narcotics" -- but no arrests

Within the past few days, a large tent pitched on state property near downtown Seattle was searched by the Seattle Police Department after officers were tipped-off it was being “used to process and sell large amounts of narcotics.”

According to investigative documents filed in King County Superior Court, officers searched the tent recently and found 660 hypodermic needles, 100 baggies, a scale, heroin, meth, crack cocaine, lighters, pipes, a "processing table for narcotics," an ax, machete, knife and $209.07 cash.

Only one bed was found in the tent, large enough to sleep at least six, according to documents.

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On Wednesday, a sign posted by the City of Seattle revealed the tent – pitched on Washington State Department of Transportation property – was cleared Monday.

A man walking in the posted WSDOT “no trespassing” area said the people who had been living there were “just trying to find a warm place to be, a place to live. They’re homeless.” The man would not give his name.

However, not all tents and encampments are simply places for the homeless to live.

They can also hide criminal activity dangerous to occupants and the surrounding community.

In February, KIRO 7 was the first to report that two men living near the encampment known as "The Jungle" were arrested and charged with raping and trafficking teenage runaways -- throughout the multiple camps where Interstate 5 meets Interstate 90.

After KIRO 7's multiple reports, the tents were cleared and the area was fenced.

The area where the 660 hypodermic needles and illegal drugs were found this week is also fenced, but KIRO 7 witnessed a large gap in the chain-link and multiple people who had gained access.

KIRO 7 request to interview the Seattle Police Department on Wednesday was denied because this is still an on-going investigation.

A spokesman said multiple people have been interviewed, but no one has been arrested.

Seattle police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee released the following statement via email: “The Seattle Police Department is responsive to criminal activity regardless of where it occurs or the residential status of those involved. This case remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation. We encourage everyone to report crime and suspicious activity by calling 911.”

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