Deputy pleads not guilty to theft, drugs, promoting prostitution

Deputy pleads not guilty to theft, drugs, promoting prostitution
Deputy Darrion Holiwell enters King County Superior Court for his arraignment on June 24, 2014.
SEATTLE - A King County Sheriff's Office deputy pleaded not guilty Tuesday to helping his wife start a prostitution business, stealing ammunition from the Sheriff's Office firing range and dabbling in a number of illegal drugs.

Darrion Holiwell, 49, of Seattle entered the plea in King County Superior Court five days after he was arrested following an investigation into his alleged illegal activities.

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.

According to the charges filed Thursday in King County Superior Court, Holiwell has been violating the public trust and the law for years, with the charging documents stating he "displays a high level of disdain for the very law he has sworn to uphold."

He is now being held in King County Jail on $150,000 bail.

The judge denied a defense request Tuesday to reduce his bail amount after prosecutors argued that Holiwell, a highly skilled marksman, presents a serious threat to both the witnesses in the case and the public at large.

Charging documents also say Holiwell had sent out a text message just before his arrest saying, "The storm is coming, but I got something for their asses. Hang on, it's about to get real." Prosecutors said the text "sent chills" down their back when they saw it.

Prosecutors also noted that Holiwell has 69 handguns registered to him, but none were found in his gun safe during a search of his home. The judge ordered him to surrender all firearms if he is released on bail.

Holiwell's alleged 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 was begun.

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. 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. 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.