Real-life superhero ‘Phoenix Jones’ in super trouble, facing drug charges
by Quixem Ramirez | KOMO News Monday, January 27th 2020
SEATTLE (KOMO) – A local ‘superhero’ known in the past for serving justice and helping the police combat crime in downtown Seattle is now in super trouble with the law.
Benjamin John Fodor, known by his superhero name “Phoenix Jones,” faces multiple drug charges after he allegedly sold Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Molly, to another person, according to a King County District Clerk filing.
An undercover officer with the Seattle Police Department scheduled a meeting with the popular cape crusader, known in the past for patrolling Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood every week and stopping fights, feeding the homeless and ensuring justice is served.
Fodor typically wore a costume underneath his street clothes in case he encountered crime on the streets, he carried a “net gun” and enlisted the support of a sidekick in order to fight the surge of crime in the area.
This real-life superhero’s particular undoing, though, happened to be a penchant for selling drugs, according to court documents released by the Seattle Police Department.
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A witness told detectives they could not believe Fodor had not been caught yet by authorities, paving the way for an undercover sting operation designed to catch the superhero that turned to a life of a crime.
The operation revealed Fodor sold MDMA or “Molly” to an undercover narcotics detective Nov. 21 at a Starbucks at 999 3rd Avenue.
Prior to the encounter, the undercover detective sent Fodor $300 on Venmo, according to the report.
Investigators said the famed superhero accepted an additional $200 in person and agreed to sell more “Molly” to the detective at a later date.
Police said Fodor handed the agent a brown paper bag, which had several purple powder substances in several dark-colored bags. Each substance tested positive for MDMA and weighed about 7.1 grams in total.
Less than a week later after the exchange, the undercover officer reached out to Fodor for another shipment of “Molly.” Despite many text message exchanges, it took more than a month for detectives to arrange another drug deal with Fodor, according to the district court filing.
Police said Fodor and his unknown girlfriend agreed to meet an agent Jan. 9 at the Silver Cloud Hotel for a party.
The pair got outside of their vehicle just before 11 p.m. and were seen carrying a shiny gold backpack and a blue plastic tackle box into the hotel lobby, authorities said.
Shortly after the vigilante and his accomplice, Andrea Irene Berendsen, 26, were arrested.
Investigators found seven separate bundles of cocaine weighing about four grams, a scale with suspected residue, several blue narcotic package and unknown white powder substance weighing approximately 31.7 grams. Detectives uncovered two small plastic bundles with suspected cocaine residue inside the brown leather bag.
Fodor and Berendsen were booked into the King County Jail Jan. 10 for violating the Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Fodor’s criminal history includes failing to appear for hearings for driving with a suspended license (DWLS). He has six charges for DWLS since 2008. The state said in a filing they are concerned Fodor will not appear at future court dates.
The caped crusader was released from jail Jan. 11 and is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 3, according to online records.
Prior to his run in with the law, “Phoenix Jones” said he became a superhero after his friend was assaulted outside a bar, leaving him with permanent facial damage, and his son was injured by broken glass during a car burglary.
He claimed civilians could have rushed to their help to but stood idly by. From there, Fodor assumed his alter ago as Jones and donned a cap to ensure his loved ones would not be hurt again.
“Have you ever seen something that you thought was wrong or not fair?” Fodor said back in 2013. “That you wanted to change? And then you just thought about it for days or weeks? I don’t stand by and watch things happen that are wrong. When I see it I fix it. Does that make me crazy?”
Fodor was a part of the Rain City Superhero movement, which involved a group of superheroes patrolling the streets of Seattle.
For years, superheroes including Jones, Buster Doe, Thorn, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88 and Penelope roamed Seattle’s downtown streets in order to protect innocent civilians.
While dressing up as superhero and fighting crime is not illegal Seattle police said they do not encourage vigilante justice.