In 2013, Brandon Olebar became the first person to receive wrongful-conviction compensation from Washington state after the Innocence Project Northwest convinced King County prosecutors that he had been wrongly convicted of robbery.
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 been sentenced to 3½ years in prison for drug- and gun-related felonies.
Brandon Olebar, 34, pleaded guilty in October to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faced up to 10 years in prison when he was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
As part of a plea agreement, a second firearm-related charge was dismissed, according to the federal-court docket. A plea agreement showed that the federal deal hinged on Olebar also pleading guilty to two state felonies: a possession-of stolen-property charge out of Kent and a vehicle prowl out of Seattle.
In 2013, Olebar learned that he would be the first person to receive wrongful-conviction compensation from the state after Innocence Project Northwest lawyers convinced King County prosecutors that they had convicted the wrong man. Olebar was released from prison that year.
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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 2016 after police, using an undercover informant, determined that 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 handgun to a paid, confidential law-enforcement informant for $1,000 in December 2015 after a meeting at his mother’s home in Covington.