• Seattle police: Owner of Foundation Nightclub arrested, facing charges

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff , Deborah Horne

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - (1/11) Update: The owner of Foundation Nightclub was arrested by Seattle police officers on conspiracy charges Friday in connection with a undercover operation at the club in 2018. 

    Working with the Homeland Security Investigations drug task force, detectives and agents found evidence that “the owner himself was supplying large amounts of cocaine and other drugs to these dealers, who would in-turn provide them to club-goers and others,” Seattle Police said in a blotter post

    Since the club closed in August, 16 individuals have been arrested in connection to the operation on drug, weapons and conspiracy charges. The club remains closed and its liquor license is still suspended. 

    Police said more charges are expected.  

    But some women say the damage has already been done.

    "What happened to me was just so peculiar," said Ellery Turk, by Skype from California, as she described what she says happened to her inside the Foundation Nightclub last August.

    "You know to go somewhere and just have a couple of drinks, kind of like any other bar, and and not remember any parts of my night, not know how I got home," she said.

    She got so sick, she says, she vomited in her sleep, symptoms that can accompany the date rape drug GHB.  She believes her drink was spiked with the drug.

    "Seeing that Foundation nightclub was shut down," said Turk, "and they did have an undercover police officer there. And they were instructing him or her how to administer GHB and not only that, but selling it. It's really frightening and so I absolutely believe that's what happened."

    Ian Jurgensen, Foundation's 37-year-old owner, was quickly identified as the primary source. Jurgensen and two alleged accomplices, 49-year-old Michael Law Olmsted and 36-year-old Christopher Jean Charette, have been charged with conspiracy and unlawful use of a building for drug purposes. 

    "I'm happy to see they are being charged," said Turk. "People that are doing this need to be held responsible. I mean you're putting people's lives in danger."

    The nightclub has appealed its liquor license suspension. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is considering it.

    So far, seven people have been charged in this case. At least one of them pleaded guilty in November.

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    Seattle police said 12 people were arrested after an undercover narcotics investigation at Foundation Nightclub. 

    Police said they learned Foundation Nightclub had several in-house drug dealers, who were allowed to bypass club security and sell inside the venue.

    “Management (of Foundation Nightclub) was aware of the drug dealing,” Seattle police said.

    A drug dealer at the Belltown nightclub coached undercover Seattle police officers on how to dose women with date-rape drugs, police said Thursday. 

    The dealer, who police said coached officers on how to dose women with GHB, also bragged about his close relationship with the club’s owner. 

    >> PHOTOS: Police seize date-rape drug, guns, narcotics after Seattle nightclub investigation

    “Law enforcement officials began investigating Foundation in March 2018 after receiving reports of drug trafficking inside the club, as well as ongoing concerns city-wide about overdoses and sexual assaults associated with drugs like GHB,” police said in Thursday’s release.

    Police said during their operation, they purchased cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA and GHB inside or near the nightclub.

    From the Seattle police release: “On Wednesday, SPD’s narcotics unit and HSI served warrants at several locations and seized 829 grams of cocaine, over 1,000 grams of MDMA, 400 ecstasy pills, 800 Xanax pills, 190 grams of ketamine, 13 grams of DMT, 176 grams of GHB, 1200 Molly capsules, and additional prescription drugs, as well as two handguns and more than $60,000 in cash.”

    After the investigation, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued an emergency suspension of Foundation Nightclub’s liquor license.

     

     

     

    Friday, Foundation Nightclub responded to the Seattle police findings with a statement from the Law Office of Robert Flennaugh II, PLLC:

    "Foundation Nightclub is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming place for all to enjoy the music we love.  Since opening, we have always strived to provide the best safety and security measures for our patrons and have made a concerted effort to follow all laws and regulations.  Frankly, many of the government’s allegations are absolutely false.  We will prove this.  Nevertheless, the ownership takes seriously the allegations reported in the media.  Foundation Nightclub has already begun corrective actions.  It will cooperate with authorities in the investigation and remains dedicated to providing a safe and secure place for all.

    Robert Flennaugh II"

     


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