Two 15-year-old males have been arraigned on multiple counts of first degree robbery and possession of controlled substances after prosecutors said they robbed various pharmacies including a Kirkland Walgreens.
Media outlets reported that a suspect referring to himself as ‘Young Codeine King’ (YCK) on his Facebook page had been arrested Jan. 15 after investigators gained access to his social media account and found conversations implicating him in multiple drug-related robberies, according to charging documents.
Investigators also found evidence implicating another suspect, arrested Feb. 22 and referred to hereafter as S2 (suspect two), in multiple robberies.
As a matter of policy, the Reporter does not name juvenile suspects.
The charges stem from four robberies the suspects are believed to have committed.
On Nov. 28 around 3:20 a.m., Seattle police responded to a Walgreens on 15th Avenue Northwest in the Ballard neighborhood.
Three employees were in the store at the time, and described two suspects who had entered the store and demanded to be let into the pharmacy while holding staff at gunpoint.
The suspects stole codeine, Xanax and cash before leaving, telling the employees to remain in the store after they left or they would kill them.
A second incident on Dec. 2 occurred at another Walgreens in the 15600 block of Ambaum Boulevard Southwest in Burien around 4 a.m.
Witnesses said two males with face masks entered the store and stole around $225 in cash, five pints of codeine cough syrup, more than 700 tablets of Xanax and around 2,750 tablets of oxycodone. Again, the two suspects told employees if they contacted police within two minutes, they would return and kill them.
On Dec. 5 around 4 a.m., a Walgreens in Tacoma was robbed by three masked men, but an employee was able to contact local police and tell them an armed robbery was in progress.
The suspects were reported to have been armed with pistols and stole cash, oxycodone, amphetamines, codeine cough syrup and Xanax.
Following the robbery, police located and pursued a silver 2003 Nissan Maxima believed to be the getaway vehicle.
During the pursuit, which reached speeds of 120 mph, a .45 caliber pistol magazine was thrown from the car.
Due to the speeds, officers lost sight of the vehicle but traced the license to an address in south Seattle.
Following this, charging documents said police obtained a search warrant for one of the house’s residents, YCK, and a search of his Facebook page revealed numerous conversations dealing with burglary, robbery, gun sales and drug sales, as well as gang shootings and homicides.
In total, police recovered more than 1,800 pages of messages implying criminal activity, the charging document said.
On Jan. 11, Kirkland police responded to reports of an armed robbery at a local Walgreens, again around 4 a.m.
Witnesses said there were three suspects, two of whom had baseball bats and who said they had guns, who entered the store and stole cash, codeine cough syrup, oxycodone, alcohol, cigarettes and Xanax.
One of the suspects was reported as saying “I do not want to kill you all. I don’t have all day, hurry up.”
A white vehicle was seen in security footage circling the parking lot.
One of the employees told police a man matching YCK’s description had asked him for a cigarette, and what time the store closed, around 45 minutes before the robbery.
The suspect then entered the store, purchasing a drink and being caught on security footage.
Police were able to piece together the footage from before and during the robbery, and match it with Facebook photos, identifying YCK, the charging documents said.
A search warrant was served at YCK’s south Seattle home on Jan. 15, where police found clothing worn during the robberies, codeine cough syrup, bottles of oxycodone, .40 caliber ammunition, cigarettes and a green backpack seen in security footage from all the robberies.
YCK was booked into the Youth Service Center and charged through juvenile court with three counts of first-degree robbery and one violation of the controlled substance act.
Through further investigation of YCK’s Facebook messages, police identified S2 and the Seattle SWAT team served a search warrant of his apartment in south Seattle on Feb. 22.
S2 was charged with three counts of first degree robbery through the juvenile system.
In charging documents, authorities said they believed the robberies were conducted to sustain drug habits and to sell prescription narcotics in downtown Seattle.
Under Washington law, juvenile courts can penalize offenders until they turn 21.
Juvenile sentencing guidelines for first degree robbery range from 103 to 129 weeks.