Defendant charged in connection with three robberies of cannabis stores – as many as ten robberies may be linked

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Seattle – An 18-year-old Seattle-area man, who was living at a SeaTac hotel, remains in federal custody for robbery, with a detention hearing next week, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. 

Caiden James Charlton was arrested Tuesday June 27, 2023, in connection with three armed robberies in May and June 2023. Charlton had his initial appearance yesterday and will appear for a detention hearing on Monday, July 3, 2023.

According to records filed in the case, Charlton is charged with the May 30, 2023, robbery of Herb’s House on NW 65th Street in Seattle; the May 30, 2023, robbery of Hashtag Cannabis on Nickerson Street in Seattle; and the June 10, 2023, robbery of Oz Cannabis on Stone Way in Seattle. 

In each of the robberies, surveillance video shows clothing, tattoos, and jewelry that has been linked to Charlton. Victims of the robberies noted distinctive face tattoos around Charlton’s eyes that were not concealed by his mask.

In each of the robberies, one of two intruders displayed a handgun and ordered the dispensary staff to open safes or empty the till. In addition to money, the suspects stole a large amount of marijuana products. In some cases, the safes at the dispensaries could not be opened due to time locks used to discourage robberies. In one case, the robbers stole the safe by detaching it from the floor.

The robbery crew would run to a getaway car after the robberies – two of the cars had been reported stolen.

According to the criminal complaint, on June 5, 2023, Charlton was arrested by Tacoma Police for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Photographs from the arrest indicate Charlton wearing clothing and jewelry associated with the robberies of the marijuana dispensaries. 

Charlton was released on bail June 9, 2023 – one day before the third robbery charged federally. Charlton may face federal firearms charges based on the Tacoma arrest, as well as eight guns found in his possession at the time of his federal arrest on June 27, 2023.

Law enforcement continues to investigate other robberies potentially linked to Charlton and his accomplices. This includes robberies in West Seattle, Edmonds, and Bellevue. 

In all, law enforcement believes as many as ten marijuana dispensary robberies may be linked to Charlton and a juvenile arrested in Bellevue following the robbery of a dispensary there. The juvenile was located based on a currency tracker that was included in the cash he stole from the Bellevue dispensary.

“Mr. Charlton’s prior arrest for similar crimes did little to dissuade his continuing criminal activities.” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. 
“Fortunately, no one was killed during his violent robbery spree. Taking him off the streets may have saved lives of employees and patrons of the businesses he targeted and highlights the priority given to these types of violent crime. 
"I applaud the efforts of our agents and partners, including the Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Department, and others on the Safe Streets Task Force, to safely take him into custody.”

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Seattle Police Department, and the Bellevue Police Department, as well as the King County and Snohomish County Sheriffs’ Offices.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Erin H. Becker and Elyne Vaught.


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