King County sheriff fires deputy in prostitution case
The King County sheriff’s deputy who has been criminally charged with allegedly helping his estranged wife work as a prostitute, stealing department ammunition and illegally delivering testosterone, was fired Tuesday by Sheriff John Urquhart.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The King County sheriff’s deputy who has been criminally charged with helping his estranged wife work as a prostitute, stealing department ammunition and illegally delivering testosterone was fired Tuesday by Sheriff John Urquhart.
“Darrion Holiwell violated his oath, the trust of his fellow deputies, and the trust of the citizens of King County,” Urquhart said in a news release. “He does not deserve to be a police officer.”
Holiwell, who has been on administrative leave since the investigation began in April, was a 19-year-veteran. He remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Holiwell is charged with one count of second-degree promoting prostitution, one count of first-degree theft and one count of violating a drug law.
Holiwell pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment last month.
He faces 12 to 20 months in prison if convicted of the felony charges.
Urquhart, in the news release, said the criminal investigation into the case is continuing and is focused “inside and outside the Sheriff’s Office.” He said additional charges against Holiwell and others are possible.
“A parallel administrative investigation is ongoing and involves several members of the Sheriff’s Office,” Urquhart said.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday they are reviewing possible criminal charges against a major-crimes detective who is suspected of tipping Holiwell to the investigation.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. DB Gates said Holiwell was fired after a department investigation was completed Monday. He declined to appear at his so-called Loudermill hearing, when he had one final opportunity to plead his case before Urquhart imposed discipline.
“You can waive your appearance at that. It’s not uncommon to not appear,” she said.
The investigation began in April when Holiwell’s estranged wife, who is involved in a bitter divorce case with the former deputy, went to his previous wife, according to charging documents. The current wife wanted to know if there had been a pattern of domestic violence in the previous relationship like that allegedly occurring in her marriage, the documents say.
The former wife mentioned the conversation to a friend who is a King County sheriff’s employee and required to report domestic violence. The employee notified supervisors.
Although the current wife and former wife didn’t intend for an investigation to occur, both later provided statements alleging assaults and violent behavior by Holiwell, according to the charging documents.
Holiwell’s current wife told investigators that Holiwell, knowing her background as an exotic dancer, suggested she work a second job as an escort to help with the family’s financial problems, the charges allege.
Even though she moved to her own condominium when their 14-year marriage faltered last year, he helped her work as an escort at that point by providing advice and assisting with security measures, she told investigators.
Holiwell would collect about 80 percent of her earnings — including some of the nearly $2,000 she made on weekends — to help him pay house expenses and for the two boys who remained with him, she said.
Holiwell assisted with pricing, agreeing that special requests would be billed at a higher rate, she told investigators. Urquhart has referred to her as a victim.
On April 15, sheriff’s detectives searched the department’s Ravensdale gun range and Holiwell’s home. They seized his iPhone, steroids and narcotics, the charges said.
Eight days later, detectives contacted a man described as providing Holiwell with drugs and living in a condo owned by Holiwell.
Investigators seized nearly 100 bottles of illegal steroids in his home. The man told investigators that he had sold Holiwell steroids since soon after meeting him in 2012, and also sold him cocaine, Cialis and the club drug Molly, charging papers said. The man said he lived rent-free in exchange for drugs.
The theft charge stems from Holiwell’s alleged trading of 67 cases of ammunition worth more than $15,000 to two gun shops since 2007 in exchange for credit to obtain tactical gear and firearms parts.
Urquhart has said the probe also uncovered that Holiwell, a SWAT officer and chief of the department’s Ravensdale shooting range, sold about 19,000 pounds of brass from expended shell casings to three guns shops in exchange for some cash, but mostly for merchandise used by the SWAT team, including gun sights and barrels.
Information from Seattle Times archives included in this story.