Deputy to spend year in prison for theft, promoting prostitution

Deputy to spend year in prison for theft, promoting prostitution
Former King County Sheriff's deputy Darrion Holiwell pleads guilty and is sentenced in court on Aug. 4, 2014.
SEATTLE -- The veteran King County Sheriff's deputy who helped his wife start a prostitution business, stole ammunition from the sheriff's office and dabbled in a number of illegal drugs pleaded guilty in court Monday to three felony charges as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Judge Bruce Heller then sentenced Darrion Holiwell to one year plus one day in jail, mincing no words with the man he says obviously strayed radically from moral standards.

"You are a disgrace to your profession by engaging in these actions," Heller said.

Holiwell, a 49-year-old Seattle man, was charged with promoting prostitution, theft, and drug dealing.

"I've embarrassed myself, my family, and my department," Holiwell said in court moments before his sentencing. "I'm truly sorry for my actions; I love my job."

Holiwell's transgressions first came to light during divorce proceedings with his third wife, Alicia Holiwell. According to the charging documents, Alicia had been physically abused by Holiwell, though she did not report the incidents, and she contacted his previous wife, Dana Smith, to see if there was a pattern. Smith was reportedly so overwhelmed by what Alicia told her, she contacted a friend who works for the sheriff's office. That friend notified her supervisor, and an investigation began.

Alicia told sheriff's office detectives her marriage with Holiwell had been troubled, in part because of her affairs. According to the charging documents, Holiwell eventually accused her of being a sex addict and said, "If you are going to have sex, you might as well get paid for it."

Holiwell reportedly told Alicia her extra income would help with the family's financial burdens and could help him start a new security business. Holiwell already had one side business offering firearms training and accessories.

Holiwell and Alicia separated in May 2013 -- supposedly temporarily to work on their marriage -- and Alicia got her own condo. According to the charging documents, she started her escort business shortly after.

Alicia told detectives Holiwell provided her advice on how to run the business, and in the beginning she would text him her clients' IDs and inform him when she was with a client as a security measure.

Once the business got going, Alicia was making $2,000 a weekend, and Holiwell would collect approximately 80 percent of the profits, according to the charging documents.

During this time, Holiwell reportedly supplied Alicia with human growth hormone to lose weight and marijuana and "molly," a form of Ecstasy, to help with her escort appointments.

According to the charging documents, this arrangement ended when Holiwell started dating Alicia's 20-year-old friend, violating the terms of their open relationship. Alicia got angry and filed for divorce.

Following the interviews with Alicia, detectives served search warrants at Holiwell's home and the Sheriff's Office firing range.

According to the charging documents, those search warrants turned up evidence that Holiwell had been taking both live and spent ammunition from the firing range without approval.

He reportedly gave some of the ammunition to a longtime friend who was providing him with drugs, as well as advice on the escort business. Other ammunition he traded in for credit at gun shops around the region, using it to by supplies for both his SWAT team and himself, according to the charging documents.

All told, Holiwell reportedly stole $15,000 worth of live ammunition and another 19,000 pounds of spent ammunition.

In addition, detectives turned up a number of illegal drugs, including steroids, at Holiwell's home, according to the charging documents.

Holiwell has been with the Sheriff's Office since 1995 and was a member of the department's SWAT unit and its chief firearms instructor until his arrest. He was fired from the department three weeks ago.

Investigators say despite Holiwell's sentence, the case isn't closed. Holiwell is also accused of selling drugs to fellow deputies.

"I can tell you that in terms of other department members, our investigation is ongoing," said Christina Bartlett with the King County Sheriff's office.