A veteran King County Sheriff’s deputy is behind bars after an investigation found that he had pimped his wife, stolen equipment from the county gun range and pedaled steroids.
Darrion Holiwell, 49, was charged in King County Superior Court on Thursday. Holiwell is a 19-year veteran of the department and the chief firearms instructor for the sheriff's office.
Speaking to members of the press on Friday, King County Sheriff John Urquhart said Holiwell knowingly advanced and profited from the prostitution of his wife last year.
Holiwell’s extracurricular life came to light almost by accident. He had been married three times and his wife, from whom he was separated, contacted his second wife to ask if Holiwell had also abused her.
The second wife told a friend at the Sheriff’s Office about their conversation, and an investigation was launched. (The charging report is clear that neither woman initiated the investigation; the Sheriff’s Office employee was a mandated reporter.)
In an interview with investigators, Holiwell’s current wife said that Holiwell had pressured her to prostitute herself to help with family finances. The pressure started when he learned that she had had affairs. He told her, according to charging documents, “If you are going to have sex, you may as well get paid for it.”
His wife said that they had discussed her being an escort from time to time, but that the conversation became serious when Holiwell said that money was tight. He said she could quickly earn $10,000 as an escort.
She agreed and signed a one-year lease on a condo where she would meet clients. They picked a place that had security cameras and that felt secure, she said. “He was comfortable with the building layout,” she told investigators.
She started earning about $2,000 a weekend. Holiwell would come by to collect the money. She kept about 20 percent, she said, and he took the rest.
“Essentially, I just worked all summer. I would go to my regular job, and then go home and work the escorting,” she said, according to the charging documents.
He often asked her, “Are you working? Are you booked? How’s business?” He told her that he needed the money because he owed people.
She asked for time off, hoping he was caught up on his bills. She told him that she was exhausted working two full-time jobs and that she wanted a day off so she could see their three kids.
Holiwell, the lead firearms instructor at the Ravensdale range, in south King County, is also accused of pedaling illegal steroids.
He housed his drug dealer in a condo and invited him to the King County Sheriff firing range, according to the court records. The dealer brought dates with him and they shot county weapons, and, according to the report, Holiwell sent him home with boxes of range ammunition.
Holiwell also collected 19,000 metal brass from shell casings – amounting to nearly $25,000 – which he allegedly used as credit at local gun retailers.
This had been done, in moderation, in the past. But during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Sheriff’s Office faced ammunitions shortages, the charging documents explain, and tightened that practice.
A King County Sheriff’s Office told investigators that he viewed Holiwell’s actions as theft.