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.
Most Read Local Stories
- Here's where the Seattle marches will be during Friday's Global Climate Strike; drivers, take note
- ‘I just bear-hugged her’: Washington woman finds her missing dog after 57-day search in Montana
- Seattle police officer assigned to clean up homeless camps files $10 million claim, alleges polluted site made him sick
- UW student hit by driver, seriously hurt while running around Green Lake
- Suspect in deadly Westlake Station shooting charged with premeditated murder
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.