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Big Drop In Crime Since Feds Seized Tukwila Motels

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File photo of a police cruiser flashing its lights. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a police cruiser flashing its lights. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE (AP) — Police are pointing to a big drop in crime since federal authorities seized three troubled motels in Tukwila last year.

Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and Tukwila Police Chief Mike Villa told a news conference Tuesday that in the six months following the seizure, service calls to police from the neighborhood fell 28 percent, violent crime dropped 49 percent and robberies across the city were down 18 percent over the same period the year before.

The owner of one of the motels, 42-year-old Kulwinder Saroya, of Sea-Tac, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to a year in prison after pleading guilty to maintaining a drug-involved premises. Two other defendants are due to be sentenced in April.

Investigators said they profited from drug dealing and prostitution that occurred at the motels.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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