A Touch of St. Louis in Seattle

click to enlarge A Touch of St. Louis in Seattle
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Yesterday, the Seattle Weekly, the RFT's sister paper in the great northwest, published a feature story profiling the life and crimes of one Stacy Earl Stith.

For more than two decades, Stith, who goes by the nickname Smooth, has been the most uncommon common criminal in Seattle. Here's why:

A 230-pound black man, his braided hair often dangling from under a sideways ball cap, Smooth has been relentlessly, if ineptly, selling and using drugs in Seattle for more than 25 years. Along the way, he's compiled a criminal record that's something of a record itself, authorities say: Adding up misdemeanors and felonies since the mid-1980s, he has 112 convictions. Not arrests, convictions: 94 misdemeanors and 18 felonies, revolving through the doors of juvenile court to municipal court to district court to superior court to federal court, from traffic and theft offenses and weapons and assault charges to burglary and crack sales. His first day in court was at age 13; his most recent, in January, at age 39.

Ultimately, Stith's story is a sad one--despite dozens of incarcerations, he has received little treatment for his drug and alcohol addictions-- but St. Louisans with an idyllic image of the Emerald City would do well to read Rick Anderson's story and realize that the two towns actually face a few of the same challenges.

Then again, there may be a reason for that. Though Stith was raised in Seattle, he was born in---you guessed it-- St. Louis.
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