In 2014, Brandon Olebar was awarded $500,000 from the state of Washington after it was determined he spent 10 years in prison for a robbery he didn’t commit.
A Seattle man who was paid nearly $500,000 by the state and freed after serving 10 years in prison for a robbery he didn’t commit has pleaded guilty to drug- and gun-related felonies in federal court.
Brandon Olebar, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 20 before U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle.
As part of a plea agreement, a second firearm-related charge will be dismissed when he is sentenced, according to the federal-court docket. A plea agreement filed Thursday afternoon shows that the federal deal hinges on Olebar also pleading guilty to two state felonies: a possession of stolen property out of Kent and a vehicle prowl out of Seattle.
The agreement says Olebar acknowledges that he tried to sell drugs to an informant and sold the informant a stolen SKS semiautomatic rifle and a 9mm handgun.
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In 2013, Olebar learned he would be the first person to receive wrongful-conviction compensation from the state after Innocence Project Northwest lawyers convinced King County prosecutors they had convicted the wrong man. Olebar was released from prison that year.
After he was awarded the money a year later, Olebar said he hoped he could use it to get an apartment for his wife and new child, buy a car, pay bills and go back to school.
However, he was arrested in January after police, using an undercover informant, determined Olebar was selling methamphetamine, had driven a getaway car after a burglary and was peddling stolen guns out of a house in Kent.
In federal court, he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after he allegedly sold methamphetamine and a 9-mm SIG Sauer handgun to a paid, confidential law-enforcement informant for $1,000 on Dec. 16 after a meeting at his mother’s home in Covington.
Police found other firearms at his home, several of which were stolen.