SEATTLE - A former Seattle Police officer is accused of cozying up to a felon and the felon’s wife in a drug trafficking operation that drew the attention of Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability.
That officer, Brandon Gandy, ultimately quit his job before being fired. Now, the state’s Criminal Justice Training Commission is piecing through his story in an attempt to determine whether his certification to work as a police officer should be revoked.
OPA records allege that Gandy worked as "muscle" for the woman when she sold drugs in her and her husband's home. They also state that Gandy would occasionally travel with her, while armed, to make deliveries.
HOW IT BEGAN
Gandy began as a Seattle Police officer in late-2016. His personnel file, obtained through public records, doesn’t appear to have any out-of-the-ordinary incidents for several years.
However, roughly four years into his employment, there’s a major red flag.
In Oct. 2020 a complaint is filed with Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability. In it, a fellow officer’s fiancée had relayed information that her cousin and her cousin’s husband were living well-beyond their means—driving nice cars, living large and going on vacations.
That woman reportedly said her cousin, Gandy’s friend, was "into Organized Retail Theft and that she has a very close friend that is a Seattle Police officer that assists her."
An investigation would eventually be opened, and according to records obtained by FOX 13, officers even tailed Gandy witnessing him go to the couple’s home roughly "every other day."
15 months of phone records would later reveal that Gandy was rarely in contact with the husband, but would make or receive up to 18 calls a day on average from the woman.
Eventually, things culminated with a search warrant executed on the couple’s home. According to a "Director’s Certification Memo" from the OPA, they found 22 pounds of weed and a handgun in the home. On the fridge was a picture of Gandy and the woman, the only picture of a non-family member displayed anywhere in the house.
Gandy, as it turns out, was on vacation with the couple at the time that search warrant was carried out. The OPA report even indicates that Gandy helped the couple clean up the home when they returned from vacation.
The OPA indicates that the husband, a convicted felon, was told that statements he made to their investigators couldn’t be used against him in a criminal case.
He then told interviewers how he was involved in "illegal narcotics trafficking," and how his wife met Gandy at a casino she worked at part-time. The man described Gandy as a "crazy alcoholic," and that he was aware of how they made their living.
He even relayed that Gandy "acted as ‘muscle’" for his wife when she made drug deals.
Neither the husband nor wife ever admitted to paying Gandy for his work. Instead, she described to investigators how she and her husband "would often pay cash for [Gandy’s] trips and hotels when he vacationed with them."
FOX 13 News was able to track down the woman by phone during our own investigation into the matter. She referred to Gandy as a "close friend," but rebuffed multiple questions about her connection to him. When asked about dealing drugs, she hung up the phone.
NO CHARGES FILED, GANDY QUITS
Despite a lengthy investigation, there was a belief that charges would never stick to Gandy.
Both the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office noted that there was limited evidence that tied Gandy to his active participation in the alleged activities.
In fact, Gandy refused to take part in the investigation into his alleged activities throughout the case, writing OPA investigators in July 2022 that he resigned and would no longer have union representation for an interview, so he was declining.
"I would also like to add that all of the allegation alleged against me are completely and utterly false," Gandy wrote.
In the finalized report from Seattle Police, it was noted that if Gandy had not resigned, he would have been fired for misconduct in absence of criminal charges.
FOX 13 News asked Gandy to share his side of the story for our report. He responded in an email, saying in part, "You have no idea what you’re talking about… I have consulted my attorneys."
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
In the past, it was possible for officers to resign from one department and resurface at another to avoid punishment.
There are new checks and balances meant to stop that. In 2020, Washington legislators passed Senate Bill 5051.
That bill changed a number of things, including the process to de-certify law enforcement officers.
Prior to the passage of SB 5051, the Criminal Justice Training Commission could only review officer’s certification if they received a complaint from the department an officer worked at. They also had a small number of investigators, too few to handle the sheer size of the complaints they’d later receive when the law changed to include civilian complaints.
Thanks to SB 5051’s passage, one of the investigators on Gandy’s case—who had since retired—was able to write CJTC over his concern that Gandy hadn’t shown up on the entity’s list of officers with a revoked certification.
He wrote: "There was not enough evidence to criminally charge him, but I think there was a strong case to fire him. However, he quit before he could be terminated."
That complaint led to a new investigation that is currently underway.
While CJTC can’t comment on specific cases, executive director Monica Alexander told FOX 13 that de-certification is an important step to regain trust from those in the public that have lost faith in police.
As Alexander explained, bad officers have an effect on everyone.
"It taints the whole profession," she said. "People lose confidence. If people lose confidence and don’t support us, we’re teetering on making this job harder. it’s already a hard job."
In Gandy’s case, it’s unclear if he’s responded, or will even fight to keep his certification.
FOX 13 News was unable to determine if Gandy is working in any type of law enforcement capacity, but his name is now in the CJTC system to alert any potential law enforcement groups of the current investigation that could strip him of certification. If they ultimately determine to revoke his certification, he wouldn’t be capable of working as a peace officer in Washington state.